TCRLA_Public/060817.mbx         T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                    L A T I N   A M E R I C A

          Thursday, August 17, 2006, Vol. 7, Issue 163

                          Headlines

A R G E N T I N A

BANCO RIO: Issues Fideicomiso Financiero for ARS110 Million
COIM SRL: Last Day for Verification of Claims Is on Aug. 29
DROGUERIA DALETH: Enters Bankruptcy Protection on Court Orders
ECOBOLSA SA: Trustee Verifies Creditors' Claims Until Oct. 23
EMPLATOR SRL: Verification of Proofs of Claim Is Until Sept. 26

SALAFE SRL: Claims Verification Deadline Is Set for Sept. 27
SANCOR COOP: Comision Nacional Rates US$394-Mil. Debts at raCCC
SUCESION DE GUMERSINDO: Seeks for Court OK to Restructure Debts
TRANSENER: S&P Says B- Ratings Show Weak Debt Coverage Ratios
YPF SA: S&P Outlines Factors That Support Low B Ratings

* ARGENTINA: Speeding Up Talks on Planned Pipeline with Bolivia

B A H A M A S

PINNACLE ENT: Accepts Early Tenders for President Casinos' Notes

B O L I V I A

INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Commences US$1.5-Bil Share Repurchase Prog.
PRIDE INT'L: Fitch Upgrades Issuer Default Rating to BB from BB-

* BOLIVIA: Speeding Up Talks on Planned Pipeline with Argentina
* BOLIVIA: Trade Institute Reports Lower Exports to Venezuela

B R A Z I L

AGCO CORP: Moody's Affirms Ba2 Corporate Family Rating
AMERICAN AXLE: S&P Rates US$50MM Sr. Unsecured Term Loan at BB
BANCO PANAMERICANO: Moody's Assigns B2 Rating on US$75MM Notes
BANCO NACIONAL: Approves BRL117.3-Mil. Financing to Coelba
BANCO NACIONAL: Grants BRL114.7-Mil. Financing to Marisa Lojas

PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Unit Acquires Stake in Cascade & Chinook

* BRAZIL: Will Discuss Itaipu Dam Debt Payment with Paraguay

C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S

ARGENT NIM 2003-N6: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Sept. 7
ARGENT NIM 2003-N8: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Sept. 7
ARGENT NIM 2004-WN4: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Sept. 7
CHARLOTTE LIMITED: To Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on Sept. 7
CITRIX CAYMAN: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Sept. 7

EQUITY LCI: Deadline for Proofs of Claim Filing Is on Sept. 8
EQUITY MIA: Creditors Have Until Sept. 8 to File Proofs of Claim
INVESTCORP (INVESTING): Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Sept. 8
INVESTCORP (ISLAMIC): Proofs of Claim Must be Filed by Sept. 8
MINIMAX EQUITY: Deadline for Proofs of Claim Filing Is Sept. 8

MINIMAX FUNDING: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Sept. 8
MINIMAX IIP: Creditors Must Submit Proofs of Claim by Sept. 8
SF BONDS: Yukio Taniguchi Named as New Trustee for Proceeding
SF BONDS: Shareholders Gather for a Final Meeting on Sept. 7
ZEST INVESTMENT: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Sept. 7

C O L O M B I A

CA INC: Commences US$1 Billion Tender Offer on Outstanding Stock
ECOPETROL: Petrobras Vying for Majority Stake in Cartagena Plant
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Vying for Majority Stake in Ecopetrol Plant

* COLOMBIA: Resumes Third Round of Free Trade Treaty Talks

C O S T A   R I C A

DENNY'S CORP: Reports Same-Store Sales for July

* COSTA RICA: Government Will Tax Financial Services

C U B A

* CUBA: Bolivian Trade Institute Notes Zero Export to Venezuela

D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Xstrata Acquires 67.8% of the Company's Shares
TAG-IT PACIFIC: Posts US$665,000 Second Quarter 2006 Net Income

E L   S A L V A D O R

* EL SALVADOR: Joins Third Round of Free Trade Treaty Talks

G U A T E M A L A

* GUATEMALA: Participates in Third Round of Free Trade Talks

G U Y A N A

DIGICEL LTD: To Enter Guyana Telecommunications Market

H A I T I

* HAITI: Stabilization Mission Extended Six Months

H O N D U R A S

WARNACO GROUP: Restating 2005 Reports Due to Accounting Errors
WARNACO: Net Revenues Up 20.5% to US$451.6M in Second Quarter

* HONDURAS: Introducing Organic Banana Planting in Olancho
* HONDURAS: Joins Third Round of Free Trade Talks

J A M A I C A

DELTA AIR: Posts US$2.2 Billion Net Loss in Second Quarter 2006

M E X I C O

GRUPO GIGANTE: S&P Says BB Ratings Reflect High Debt Leverage
GRUPO MEXICO: New Projects May Raise Output by 60% in Four Years
MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: To File a Revised Plan of Reorganization
SONIC CORP: Launches US$560 Million "Dutch Auction" Tender Offer

N I C A R A G U A

* NICARAGUA: Hydroelectric Projects Portfolio Attracts 10 Firms

P A N A M A

BANCO LATINAMERICANO: Posts US$8.9MM Second Quarter Net Income

* PANAMA: OKs Framework Agreement of Cooperation with Venezuela

P A R A G U A Y

* PARAGUAY: Will Discuss Itaipu Dam Debt Payment with Brazil

P E R U

DEL MONTE: Unit Replaces US$100M of Credit with New Term B Loan

* PERU: Rail Concessionaire to Propose Linking Nation to Brazil

P U E R T O   R I C O

DORAL FINANCIAL: Files Fin. Reports for Year Ended Dec. 31, 2005

T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O

BRITISH WEST: Implements New Flight Regulation

U R U G U A Y

* URUGUAY: Political Coalition Rejects Free Trade Pact with US

V E N E Z U E L A

CITGO PETROLEUM: Sells Texas Refinery to Lyondell for US$1.3B

* VENEZUELA: Bolivian Exports Down 3% to US$90M for First Half
* VENEZUELA: Oil Output Declines 120,000 Barrels Per Day in July
* VENEZUELA: Pres. Chavez to Reinforce Bilateral Ties with China

* Upcoming Meetings, Conferences and Seminars


                          - - - - -


=================
A R G E N T I N A
=================


BANCO RIO: Issues Fideicomiso Financiero for ARS110 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------
Banco Rio de la Plata has issued Fideicomiso Financiero for
ARS110 million.  The issuance is the second of a program which
totals almost ARS200 million, according to Infobae.

The titles of the Fideicomiso will pay interest per month at
2.25% plus CER, a minimum rate of 6% and a maximum of 25%.

The subscription period expired yesterday.  The titles will be
issued in two stages:

   -- the Serie A of Titles of debt with variable rate and due
      on  December 3, 2022, for a total of ARS93.5 million, and

   -- the Serie B of Certificados de Participacion and due on
      December 3, 2022, for ARS16.5 million.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Banco Rio de la Plata
is an Argentinean private bank providing a range of financial
services, including retail, corporate, and merchant banking,
insurance, credit cards and fund management, to individuals,
companies of all sizes, financial institutions and the public
sector (both provincial and national).  The company has a
network of approximately 280 branches and employs over 5,000
serving over 1 million customers.  It is part of the Latin
American franchise of Banco Santander Central Hispano, which
holds over 80% of the bank's share capital.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigns Caa1 ratings to Banco Rio de la
Plata's Issuer Rating and Long-Term Bank Deposits.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 17, 2006,
Fitch Ratings affirmed these ratings of Banco Rio de la
Plata:

   -- Individual 'E'; and
   -- Support '5'.


COIM SRL: Last Day for Verification of Claims Is on Aug. 29
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mabel Herrera, the court-appointed trustee for Coim S.R.L.'s
bankruptcy proceeding, verifies creditors' proofs of claim until
Aug. 29, 2006.

Ms. Herrera will present the validated claims in court as
individual reports on Oct. 16, 2006.  A court in Buenos Aires
will determine if the verified claims are admissible, taking
into account the trustee's opinion and the objections and
challenges raised by Coim and its creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

A general report that contains an audit of Coim's accounting and
banking records will follow on Nov. 29, 2006.

Ms. Herrera is also in charge of administering Coim's assets
under court supervision and will take part in their disposal to
the extent established by law.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Coim S.R.L.
    Junin 558
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Mabel Herrera
    Rodriguez Pena 694
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


DROGUERIA DALETH: Enters Bankruptcy Protection on Court Orders
--------------------------------------------------------------
Drogueria Daleth S.R.L. enters bankruptcy protection after Court
No. 23 in Buenos Aires ordered the company's liquidation.  The
order transfers control of the company's assets to a court-
appointed trustee who will supervise the liquidation
proceedings.  The name of the trustee has not been disclosed.

Under Argentine Bankruptcy law, the trustee will:

   -- verify creditors' proofs of claim;

   -- prepare and present individual and general reports in  
      court after the claims are verified; and

   -- administer Drogueria Daleth's assets under court
      supervision and take part in their disposal to the extent
      established by law.

After the verification of claims, Court No. 23 will determine if
the verified claims are admissible, taking into account the
trustee's opinion and the objections and challenges raised by
Drogueria Daleth and its creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

Clerk No. 45 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Drogueria Daleth S.R.L.
    Avenida Nazca 1126
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


ECOBOLSA SA: Trustee Verifies Creditors' Claims Until Oct. 23
-------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Marta Polistino verifies creditors
proofs of claim against bankrupt company Ecobol S.A. until
Oct. 23, 2006.

Under Argentina bankruptcy law, Ms. Polistino is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 5 in Buenos Aires will determine if the verified
claims are admissible, taking into account the trustee's opinion
and the objections and challenges raised by Ecobol and its
creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

Ms. Polistino will also submit a general report that contains an
audit of Ecobol's accounting and banking records.  The report
submission dates have not been disclosed.

Court No. 5 declared the company bankrupt at the behest of Juan
Bautista Frias, whom it owes US$37,904.55.

Clerk No. 10 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Ecobol S.A.
    Loyola 549
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Marta Polistino
    Cramer 2175
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


EMPLATOR SRL: Verification of Proofs of Claim Is Until Sept. 26
---------------------------------------------------------------
Court-appointed trustee Maria del Carmen Amandule verifies
creditors' proofs of claim against bankrupt company Emplator
S.R.L., formerly known as Jovias S.R.L., until Sept. 26, 2006.

Under Argentina bankruptcy law, Ms. Amandule is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports.
Court No. 8 in Buenos Aires will determine if the verified
claims are admissible, taking into account the trustee's opinion
and the objections and challenges raised by Emplator and its
creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

Ms. Amandule will also submit a general report that contains an
audit of Emplator's accounting and banking records.  The report
submission dates have not been disclosed.

Court No. 8 declared the company bankrupt at the request of
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro S.A.

Clerk No. 16 assists the court in the proceeding.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Emplator S.R.L.
    Avenida Cordoba 1532
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

The trustee can be reached at:

    Maria del Carmen Amandule
    Urquiza 1133
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


SALAFE SRL: Claims Verification Deadline Is Set for Sept. 27
------------------------------------------------------------
Luis Alberto Cortes, the court-appointed trustee for Salafe
S.R.L.'s bankruptcy proceeding, will verify creditors' proofs of
claim until Sept. 27, 2006.

Under Argentina bankruptcy law, Mr. Cortes is required to
present the validated claims in court as individual reports. A
court in Buenos Aires will determine if the verified claims are
admissible, taking into account the trustee's opinion and the
objections and challenges raised by Salafe and its creditors.

Inadmissible claims may be subject for appeal in a separate
proceeding known as an appeal for reversal.

Mr. Cortes will also submit a general report that contains an
audit of Salafe's accounting and banking records.  The report
submission dates have not been disclosed.

The trustee can be reached at:

    Luis Alberto Cortes
    Avenida Cordoba 1546
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


SANCOR COOP: Comision Nacional Rates US$394-Mil. Debts at raCCC
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Comision Nacional Valores assigned raCCC ratings on Sancor
Coop. Unidas Ltda.'s debts:

   -- Serie 3 for US$75,800,000 included under the US$300
      million program
  
      * last due: Jan. 27, 2004

   -- Program of Obligaciones Negociables for US$300 million

      * last due: April 23, 2006

   -- Serie 2, for US$19,000,000, included under the US$300
      million program

      * last due: Jan. 27, 2004

The rating action was based on Sancor Coop.'s financial status
at Mar. 31, 2006.


SUCESION DE GUMERSINDO: Seeks for Court OK to Restructure Debts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Court No. 4 in Buenos Aires is studying the merits of Sucesion
de Gumersindo Fernandez y Elsa Josefa Bernardini's petition to
reorganize its business after a cessation of payments on
Oct. 31, 2003.

The petition, once approved by the court, will allow the
Sucesion de Gumersindo to negotiate a settlement with its
creditors in order to avoid a straight liquidation.

Clerk No. 7 assists the court in this case.

The debtor can be reached at:

    Sucesion de Gumersindo Fernandez y Elsa Josefa Bernardini
    Rosario 360   
    Buenos Aires, Argentina


TRANSENER: S&P Says B- Ratings Show Weak Debt Coverage Ratios
-------------------------------------------------------------
The 'B-' ratings on Compania de Transporte de Energia Electrica
en Alta Tension Transener S.A. aka Transener, Argentina's
largest power transmission company, mainly reflect the high
political and regulatory risk in Argentina and the company's
weak debt service coverage ratios, high foreign exchange risk,
and limited financial flexibility.  In contrast, the ratings
benefit from Transener's strong competitive position and
efficient operations.

In December 2005, the Argentine government approved an agreement
between Transener and the Unidad de Renegociacion y Analisis de
Contratos de Servicios Publicos, an entity that the government
created to renegotiate the concessions for public service
companies.  The agreement awarded Transener a sizable tariff
increase that should result in better debt service coverage
ratios as of fiscal 2006.

The agreement incorporated a 31% tariff increase at Transener
and a 25% increase at its subsidiary Transba S.A. retroactive to
June 2005, and also included a tariff-adjustment mechanism,
mandatory investments, and service-quality targets for a
transition period originally ending May 2006, when the
concession contract should have been fully renegotiated. There
has been no significant progress on the last point, so the date
and final conditions of a full renegotiation remain unclear.
Transener's long-term credit quality depends on the final terms
and conditions of the renegotiated concession contracts.

On June 30, 2005, Transener's financial performance improved
with the completed restructuring of its approximately US$570
million defaulted debt. The restructuring reduced total debt by
around 50% to about US$285 million and smoothed the company's
maturity profile to manageable levels under relatively stable
macroeconomic conditions.

The lower levels, combined with the higher cash flow generation
deriving from the recent tariff increase, should improve
Transener's total debt to EBITDA to around 4x in the 2006-2007
period from about 5x in 2005.  Transener is expected to generate
between US$60 million and US$70 million in EBITDA in 2006 and
2007, which should allow the company to:

   -- pay interest of about US$20 million,

   -- carry out about US$10 million in capital spending,

   -- pay debt maturities of between US$7 million and
      US$10 million, and

   -- prepay some additional debt in accordance with cash-sweep
      clauses included in the new debt's terms and conditions.

Funds from operations interest coverage and FFO to total debt
ratios are expected to range between 2.5x and 3.5x and 10% to
15%, respectively.  However, the high foreign-exchange risk
resulting from its mostly Argentine-peso-denominated revenues
and U.S.-dollar-denominated debt still represents a significant
challenge.

Transener has a 95-year concession contract, awarded in 1993, to
operate and maintain most of the high-tension transmission lines
in Argentina, and was also awarded the operation and maintenance
of the 1,300-kilometer high-tension transmission line built by
the company between the Comahue region and Buenos Aires for 15
years as of 1999. Transener is controlled by Citelec S.A., which
is in turn controlled equally by Dolphin Fund Management and
Petrobras Energia S.A. (B/Stable/--), which recently sold its
stake to Eton Park Capital Management (not rated), although the
transaction is waiting for regulatory approval.

Liquidity

Transener's liquidity is weak in spite of its adequate cash
reserves of about US$13 million as of June 30, 2006, given its
US$12.5 million short-term debt.  The company benefits from a
smooth debt maturity profile and relatively low capital
expenditures.  This is mainly because of its financial
flexibility, which remains constrained by restrictions imposed
in the new debt's terms and conditions--which include mandatory
prepayment clauses in case the company generates excess cash--
and by its weak business risk profile.

Outlook

The stable outlook reflects Standard & Poor's Ratings Services'
expectations that Transener will be able to meet its financial
obligations during the 2006-2008 period without significant
changes in inflation and the exchange rate because of the
projected relatively stable macroeconomic scenario.  Rating
upside is limited by political and regulatory risks in
Argentina.  However, the ratings could be lowered if Transener
is affected by a sizable devaluation of the Argentine peso, high
inflation, or further government intervention that could
significantly alter its financial performance or business
fundamentals.


YPF SA: S&P Outlines Factors That Support Low B Ratings
-------------------------------------------------------
Y.P.F. S.A. currently holds these ratings by Standard & Poor's:

   -- long-term foreign issuer credit rating; BB; and
   -- long-term local issuer credit rating: BB+.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services' ratings on YPF S.A. reflect:

   -- its still-high strategic importance to its parent,
      Repsol-YPF S.A. (BBB/Stable/A-2);

   -- Repsol's economic incentive to strongly support its
      Argentine operation;

   -- a conservative financial profile (despite large dividend
      payments in the past four years, as free cash-flows were
      sustained at very healthy levels); and

   -- its adequate business position.

The ratings also reflect the challenges of operating in the
highly uncertain and rapidly changing Argentine economic
environment, some vulnerability to highly volatile international
prices, a geographically concentrated reserve base, and low
reserve replacement ratios.

The strong performance and relatively high importance of YPF's
operations for Repsol's consolidated operations are significant
incentives for Repsol's support.  This is because, as YPF has
been reducing its leverage to a more conservative level and
exhibiting a very smooth maturity profile, any eventual required
assistance should not be significant compared with YPF's equity
value for Repsol.  As a consequence, we consider the economic
incentives for Repsol to support its Argentine subsidiary to be
very strong, except in the case of total nationalization.  
Nevertheless, given the reduction in the reserve base, declining
liquid production levels, and impaired natural-gas field
performance given increasing production (sold at very low prices
since 2002), the challenges of balancing the local production
decline with continuing to generate healthy free cash flow might
reduce the importance for the group and the eventual support in
the long term.

Standard & Poor's considers the regulatory and institutional
environment in Argentina to be a major risk for YPF's business
position.  The hydrocarbon sector in Argentina is conditioned by
political decisions that might affect the sustainability of the
industry's profitability in the medium to long term.  Since
2004, the Kirchner Administration has done the following:

   -- Modified many regulations jeopardizing the credit quality
      of the companies;

   -- Curtailed natural gas exports to Chile;

   -- Created a new state-owned energy company Enarsa that will
      operate in the hydrocarbon industry and increase
      uncertainties about the government's willingness to
      interfere in the sector;

   -- Pressured producers to invest in infrastructure projects
      (mostly pipelines); and

   -- Pressured producers and refiners not to increase the price
      of retail refined products.

The unexpected downward revision of YPF's proven reserves by 509
million barrels of oil equivalent, coupled with YPF's inability
to fully replace production in the past several years and the
sale of its operations outside Argentina, has resulted in a
decline of reserves of approximately 47% since year-end 2000.  
Total proved reserves as of Dec. 31, 2005, were 1,611 million
boe (48% crude, almost all in Argentina, 73% developed).  The
proven reserve life for both natural gas and crude oil barely
exceeds six years, which is considered low and might create
pressure for additional capital expenditures to both sustain
production and find additional reserves.

YPF's revenue base, profitability, and cash-flow generation
ability are volatile, influenced by the strong weight of the
exploration and production division, which has contributed
between 74% and 99% of operating income in the past four years.  
Despite government intervention that prevented the company from
fully benefiting from international crude oil prices, YPF
reported exceptional cash-flow protection measures given its
very low indebtedness levels and still-strong cash generation.  
Funds from operations covered 622% of total debt in the 12
months ended June 30, 2006, while EBITDA interest coverage
reached a strong 33.5x for the same period.  Future performance
will be conditioned by the effect of international events on
prices and by the evolution of devaluation and inflation and new
economic measures in Argentina.  In the short to medium term,
and despite the volatile environment in Argentina, YPF's
financial performance, profitability measures, and cash-flow
generation ability (with expected free cash flow exceeding many
times total debt) should remain strong due to its adequate
operating performance and very conservative financial profile in
spite of an aggressive dividend policy in the past four years.  
Total debt represented 5.9% of total capitalization as of
June 30, 2006.

Liquidity

Standard & Poor's considers YPF's liquidity position to be
strong due to its important cash holdings and healthy cash-flow
generation in the short to medium term.  As of June 30, 2006,
YPF's cash reserves amounted to US$210 million, with total debt
at US$466 million, including US$114 million in the short term.  
Intercompany credits granted to the Repsol-YPF group
(approximately US$1 billion as of June 2006) constitute an
additional liquidity source.

Given that no acquisition is expected and considering the
company's strong cash-flow generation ability, Standard & Poor's
expects YPF's capital expenditure needs to be covered by
internally generated funds, and free operating cash flows to
remain positive in the medium term.  The rating agency expects
increased capital expenditures in the next years.

YPF showed an aggressive dividend policy in the past four years,
resulting in an average payout ratio close to 100%.  
Nevertheless, this cash outflow has not affected YPF's credit
quality, although these dividend payments might become
politically sensitive in the future.  Standard & Poor's expects
YPF's dividend policy to reflect the Repsol Group's cash
management policy but not to increase the company's cash needs
or jeopardize its ability to fund capital expenditure
requirements.

Standard & Poor's expects YPF's liquidity situation to remain
strong. Nevertheless, should foreign-exchange transfer controls
be reinstated (as in the December 2001-May 2003 period), debt
payment capacity could be pressured.

Outlook

The stable outlook on the foreign currency ratings reflects
Standard & Poor's expectations that Repsol has sufficient
economic incentives to support YPF, thereby mitigating direct
sovereign risk, particularly an increase in current transfer and
convertibility restrictions (Standard & Poor's currently sees
Argentine transfer and convertibility risk as 'BB-' versus the
sovereign foreign-currency rating of 'B').  The negative outlook
on the local currency ratings reflects our perception of
challenging field performance and reserve base maintenance in
the context of the uncertain Argentine business environment.  
The stabilization or lowering of the local currency ratings
depends on whether concerns about the upstream business persist
or are allayed during the next 12-18 months.


* ARGENTINA: Speeding Up Talks on Planned Pipeline with Bolivia
---------------------------------------------------------------
Argentina will step up talks with Bolivia on a proposed pipeline
project linking the two countries, Dow Jones Newswires.

Dow Jones relates that the pipeline, known as the Northeast
Argentina Gas Pipeline or GNEA, would allow Bolivia to sell
Argentina an additional 20 million cubic meters of natural gas
per day, which is two and a half times the amount it currently
ships to Argentina on a daily basis.

Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and Julio de Vido,
the planning minister of Argentina, disclosed to the press on
Monday that their countries would sign an accord by October and
award a contract for the GNEA's construction before the end of
2006.

Dow Jones notes that demand for Bolivian gas in Argentina has
exceeded the capacity of the two nation's existing pipeline,
which was constructed over 30 years ago.  

According to the report, the current Argentine-Bolivian pipeline
can carry up to 7.7 million cubic meters of oil per day.

Dow Jones underscores that Techint, a company in Argentina, has
shown interest in making a bid for the GNEA project, which was
expected to cost US$1 billion.

GNEA's construction will start after the state energy firms of
Bolivia and Argentina can decide on a price of the gas the
pipeline will carry, Dow Jones says.  GNEA would provide a key
link between Bolivia's extensive natural gas reserves and the
expanding South American energy market.  

Uruguay and Paraguay have expressed interest in buying a share
of the gas pumped through GNEA, Dow Jones says.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Argentina:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     B+      Aug. 1, 2006
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer    B       Aug. 1, 2006
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Long Term IDR       RD      Dec. 14, 2005




=============
B A H A M A S
=============


PINNACLE ENT: Accepts Early Tenders for President Casinos' Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------
Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc., disclosed the satisfaction of the
conditions for an Early Tender Date more particularly described
in its Offer to Purchase dated July 19, 2006, pursuant to which
the company offered to purchase any and all of the outstanding
12% Notes due 2001 (Cusip No. 740822AA9) and 13% Senior Exchange
Notes due 2001 (Cusip No. 740848AF3) issued by President
Casinos, Inc.

Pinnacle Entertainment has accepted and purchased all Notes
validly tendered prior to or on August 14, 2006, the Early
Tender Date.  As of August 14, 2006, approximately US$73.2
million, or about 97.6%, of the outstanding original principal
amount of the Notes has been tendered. Holders of the Notes who
tendered on or prior to the Early Tender Date will be paid an
aggregate of approximately US$59.2 million, representing
US$809.07 per US$1,000.00 of original principal amount of the
Notes.

The company's Offer to Purchase expired yesterday at 8:00 a.m.,
New York City time.  Subject to the satisfaction of the
remaining tender offer conditions, the company accepted and
purchased any Notes validly tendered on or prior to the
expiration date.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on July 24, 2006,
holders who validly tendered their Notes, either prior to the
Expiration Date or prior to the Early Tender Date, will receive
the purchase price of US$809.07 per US$1,000 of original
principal amount of the Notes.  The aggregate original principal
amount of the Notes that are currently outstanding is
approximately US$75 million.  Due to previous distributions in
the bankruptcy proceedings of President Casinos, Inc. and its
affiliates, the actual claims associated with the Notes are less
than the original principal amount of the outstanding Notes.
The claims associated with the Notes are believed to be no
greater than the Purchase Price being offered by the company in
the Tender Offer.  The aggregate Purchase Price under this
Tender Offer, assuming that the Tender Offer is fully
subscribed, is US$60.7 million.  Payment for the Notes will be
made promptly after the Early Tender Date or the Expiration
Date.

HSBC Bank USA, National Association, is the depositary agent in
connection with the Tender Offer.  D.F. King & Co., Inc. is the
information agent for the Tender Offer.  Requests for copies of
the Offer to Purchase and Letter of Transmittal should be
directed to the information agent at (800) 967-7635.

                   About President Casinos

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, President Casinos Inc.
-- http://www.presidentcasino.com/-- currently owns and  
operates a dockside gaming casino in St. Louis, Missouri through
its wholly owned subsidiary, President Missouri.  The Debtor
filed for chapter 11 protection on June 20, 2002 (Bankr. S.D.
Miss. Case No. 02-53055).  On July 11, 2002, substantially all
of Debtor's other operating subsidiaries filed for chapter 11
protection in the same Court.  The Honorable Judge Edward Gaines
ordered the transfer of President Casino's chapter 11 cases from
Mississippi to Missouri.  The case was reopened on Nov. 5, 2002
(Bankr. E.D. Mo. Case No. 02-53005).  Brian Wade Hockett, Esq.,
at Hockett Thompson Coburn LLP, represents the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  David A. Warfield, Esq., at Blackwell
Sanders Peper Martin LLP, represents the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors.  The Company's balance sheet at Nov. 30,
2005 showed assets totaling US$66,292,000 and debts totaling
US$75,531,000.

                       About Pinnacle

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.
(NYSE: PNK) -- http://www.pnkinc.com/-- owns and operates
casinos in Nevada, Louisiana, Indiana and Argentina, owns a
hotel in Missouri, receives lease income from two card club
casinos in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, has been licensed
to operate a small casino in the Bahamas, and owns a casino site
and has significant insurance claims related to a hurricane-
damaged casino previously operated in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Pinnacle opened a major casino resort in Lake Charles, Louisiana
in May 2005 and a new replacement casino in Neuquen, Argentina
in July 2005.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on May 24, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised its CreditWatch
implications on Las Vegas-based casino owner and operator
Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. to positive from negative.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 20, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service placed the ratings of Pinnacle
Entertainment, Inc. on review for possible upgrade.  Pinnacle
ratings affected include its B2 corporate family rating, B1
senior secured bank loan rating, and Caa1 senior subordinated
debt rating.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Mar. 15, 2006,
Fitch Ratings placed the ratings of Pinnacle Entertainment on
Rating Watch Negative.  The ratings affected include 'B' issuer
default rating; 'BB/RR1' senior secured credit facility rating;
and 'CCC+/RR6' senior subordinated note rating.




=============
B O L I V I A
=============


INTERNATIONAL PAPER: Commences US$1.5-Bil Share Repurchase Prog.
----------------------------------------------------------------
International Paper Company is commencing a tender offer to
purchase up to approximately 41.7 million shares, or
approximately 8.4% of its currently outstanding shares.  Under
the modified "Dutch Auction" tender offer, the company will
repurchase up to US$1.5 billion of its common stock at a price
that is not less than US$32.50 and not greater than US$36 per
share.  The tender offer is scheduled to be completed on
Sept. 13, 2006.

On July 13, International Paper's board of directors authorized
a share repurchase program to acquire up to US$3 billion of the
company's stock through the end of 2007 as part of the company's
transformation plan, launched in 2005.      

"When we announced our transformation strategy last year, we
committed to a balanced and disciplined use of proceeds from
divestitures, including returning value to shareowners.  We
believe this share repurchase, combined with strengthening our
balance sheet and strategic reinvestment in our global platform
businesses, will generate the best performance for International
Paper and provide the strongest returns to its shareowners,"
said John Faraci, chairman and chief executive officer.

                        Tender Offer

The modified "Dutch Auction" tender offer for shares of the
company's common stock will expire on Sept. 13, 2006, at
midnight, New York City time, unless extended by the company.

Under the terms of the tender offer, the company is offering to
purchase for cash up to 41,666,667 shares of its common stock at
a purchase price not greater than US$36 or less than US$32.50
per share. The offer is not conditioned on any minimum number of
shares being tendered.  The offer is, however, subject to
certain other conditions described in the offer to purchase and
related documents.  Shareowners can choose to tender their
shares, specifying a target share price, within the designated
range, at which they would sell.  

After the tender offer expires, the company will examine the
prices chosen by shareowners and then select the lowest price
per share within the specified price range that will allow the
company to purchase 41,666,667 shares or, if a lesser number of
shares are properly tendered, all shares that are properly
tendered.  If shareowners tender more than 41,666,667 shares at
or below the determined purchase price per share, the company
will purchase those shares at the determined price per share, on
a pro rata basis, based upon the number of shares each
shareowner tenders, subject to certain exceptions.

Shareowners whose shares are purchased in the tender offer will
be paid the determined purchase price per share in cash, less
any applicable withholding taxes and without interest after
expiration of the tender offer.  All shares purchased in the
tender offer will be purchased at the same purchase price,
regardless of whether the shareowner tendered at a lower price.  
Shares tendered but not purchased will be returned promptly
following the expiration of the tender offer.

Subject to certain limitations and legal requirements, the
company may purchase in the tender offer up to an additional 2
percent of its outstanding shares (or approximately 9.9 million
shares) without extending the offer.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and UBS Securities LLC will serve as dealer
managers for the tender offer. D.F. King & Co., Inc. will serve
as information agent and Mellon Investor Services will serve as
the depositary.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, International Paper Company
(NYSE: IP) -- http://www.internationalpaper.com/-- is in the
forest products industry for more than 100 years.  The company
is currently transforming its operations to focus on its global
uncoated papers and packaging businesses, which operate and
serve customers in the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia.
Its South American operations include, among others, facilities
in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela.  These businesses
are complemented by an extensive North American merchant
distribution system.  International Paper is committed to
environmental, economic and social sustainability, and has a
long-standing policy of using no wood from endangered forests.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service assigned a Ba1 senior subordinate
rating and Ba2 Preferred Stock rating on International Paper
Company on Dec. 5, 2005.


PRIDE INT'L: Fitch Upgrades Issuer Default Rating to BB from BB-
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fitch Ratings has raised Pride International's Issuer Default
Rating to 'BB' from 'BB-'.  Fitch also raised the ratings on
Pride's senior secured revolving credit facility, senior
unsecured notes and their convertible senior notes.  Fitch is
withdrawing the ratings on the senior secured term loan after
its repayment.  The Rating Outlook is Stable.  Fitch upgrades
these ratings for Pride:

   -- Issuer Default Rating: to 'BB' from 'BB-';
   -- Senior unsecured to: 'BB' from 'BB-';
   -- Senior secured bank facility to: 'BBB-' from 'BB+'; and
   -- Senior convertible notes to 'BB' from 'BB-'.

The rating action reflects Pride's commitment to deleveraging
the balance sheet and the execution on that commitment since
Fitch raised the Outlook to Positive in May 2005.  Total balance
sheet debt was US$1,079.3 million as of June 30, 2006.  With
unrestricted cash balances of US$100.9 million, this reflects
the first time since 1998 that net debt has fallen below US$1
billion.  Pride has capitalized on the positive offshore
drilling environment to combine proceeds from selling
underperforming assets with strong operating cash flows to
reduce debt and improve the company's asset base.  Pride's
credit stats reflect these improvements as well as the strong
market conditions for offshore drilling rigs.  For the last 12
months ended June 30, 2006, Pride generated US$664.0 million of
EBITDA and free cash flow (cash from operations less capital
expenditures) was US$233.1 million.  Credit metrics were robust
with interest coverage of 8.2x and debt-to-EBITDA dropping to
1.6x.  After adjusting for off-balance sheet items, interest
coverage was 4.8x and debt-to-EBITDA was 2.3x, both
significantly better than year-end 2005 levels and
representative of the improvements management has made to reduce
the risk profile of the company.

Fitch continues to have a positive view of Pride's management
and their plan for transitioning the company to an offshore
drilling contractor. While Fitch anticipates additional
improvements in the company's credit metrics as older contracts
are replaced, the rating Outlook is Stable as the company
continues moving forward through this transition period.
Uncertainty regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or FCPA
investigation and the strength of the company's financial
controls combined with uncertainties regarding the sale of the
Latin American operations has resulted in the Stable Outlook.  
Pride's ability to make sustainable improvements to the
competitive nature of its asset base through the sale of weak
assets and/or the addition of stronger assets will be a key
determinant to future positive rating action and the company's
ability to withstand any future downturn in the industry.  In
particular, Fitch's ability to have a additional visibility into
the cash flow generating ability of Pride post the Latin
American operations divestiture and the re-deployment of those
proceeds will be an important item that Fitch will monitor as
the company transitions to a pure offshore driller.  Further,
Pride's ability to fund this transition via internally generated
cash flows and asset sales versus its choice of externally
generated funds will also be of importance.

Pride is one of the world's largest drilling contractors and
provides onshore and offshore drilling and related services in
more than 30 countries, operating a diverse fleet of 278 rigs,
including two ultra-deepwater drillships, 12 semisubmersible
rigs, 28 jack-up rigs and 18 tender-assisted barge and platform
rigs, as well as 218 land rigs. Pride also provides a variety of
oilfield services to customers in Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia
and Peru.


* BOLIVIA: Speeding Up Talks on Planned Pipeline with Argentina
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivia will step up talks with Argentina on a proposed pipeline
project linking the two countries, Dow Jones Newswires.

Dow Jones relates that the pipeline, known as the Northeast
Argentina Gas Pipeline or GNEA, would allow Bolivia to sell
Argentina an additional 20 million cubic meters of natural gas
per day, which is two and a half times the amount it currently
ships to Argentina on a daily basis.

Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and Julio de Vido,
the planning minister of Argentina, disclosed to the press on
Monday that their countries would sign an accord by October and
award a contract for the GNEA's construction before the end of
2006.

Dow Jones notes that demand for Bolivian gas in Argentina has
exceeded the capacity of the two nation's existing pipeline,
which was constructed over 30 years ago.  

According to the report, the current Argentine-Bolivian pipeline
can carry up to 7.7 million cubic meters of oil per day.

Dow Jones underscores that Techint, a company in Argentina, has
shown interest in making a bid for the GNEA project, which was
expected to cost US$1 billion.

GNEA's construction will start after the state energy firms of
Bolivia and Argentina can decide on a price of the gas the
pipeline will carry, Dow Jones says.  GNEA would provide a key
link between Bolivia's extensive natural gas reserves and the
expanding South American energy market.  

Uruguay and Paraguay have expressed interest in buying a share
of the gas pumped through GNEA, Dow Jones states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    B-       Jun. 17, 2004
   Long Term IDR      B-       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     B-       Dec. 14, 2005


* BOLIVIA: Trade Institute Reports Lower Exports to Venezuela
-------------------------------------------------------------
For the first six months of 2006, Bolivia's exports to Venezuela
dropped to US$90 million from US$92 million last year, El
Universal reports, citing a report from the Bolivian Trade
Institute.  

Trade Institute manager Gary Rodriguez told Efe that that figure
raise serious questions "about the efficiency of the Peoples'
Trade Accord, through which the (Bolivian) Government hoped to
encourage trade."

Bolivia hosted in May a fair to encourage trade from both the
Peoples' Trade Accord and the Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas -- both accords are aimed to counter the US-sponsored
Free Trade Agreements.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Bolivia:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    B-       Jun. 17, 2004
   Long Term IDR      B-       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     B-       Dec. 14, 2005




===========
B R A Z I L
===========


AGCO CORP: Moody's Affirms Ba2 Corporate Family Rating
------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service affirmed AGCO Corp.'s Ba2 corporate
family rating and B1 senior subordinated rating, and changed the
company's outlook to stable from negative.  The affirmation and
change in outlook reflect Moody's expectation that the company's
successful cost reduction and working capital management
initiatives will support further improvement in free cash flow
and key credit metrics, despite the severe slowdown in Latin
American agricultural equipment markets and the more moderate
declines in North American and European markets. The outlook
also anticipates that one of AGCO's key near-term financial
priorities will be utilizing free cash flow to strengthen its
balance sheet by reducing debt or increasing cash reserves.  In
addition, the rating agency expects that any material
shareholder enhancement initiatives will be undertaken only to
the extent that free cash generation remains strong, and that
such initiatives would still allow for further improvement in
credit metrics.

The agricultural equipment market consists of three global
players (including AGCO) and a number of regional competitors.  
A key component of AGCO's operating strategy has been to act as
a consolidator by steadily undertaking acquisitions and
aggressively reducing costs through restructuring programs as
the acquired operations were integrated.  Throughout this
process AGCO has largely preserved its position as an assembler
with a relatively low degree of vertical integration and fixed
costs.  Moody's believes that AGCO has established a globally
competitive product line and a solid distribution system.  
Consequently, further strategic and large tactical acquisitions
are unlikely.  In addition, the progress AGCO has made in
lowering its cost structure and reducing inventory levels should
enable it to improve operating margins despite the downturn in
agricultural equipment markets, particularly Latin America.

As a result of the current downturn in demand, AGCO's operating
performance has eroded and credit metrics are weak for the
current rating level.  For the last twelve months to June 2006
operating margins declined to 5.2% from 6.1% in 2004,
EBIT/interest was only 2.1x, and debt/EBITDA was a relatively
high 5.1x.  Importantly, however, free cash flow has remained
positive and approximated US$100 million for the LTM to June --
excluding the transfer of interest bearing wholesale receivables
to it finance joint venture.  Although overall demand through
2006 will remain near or modestly below recent levels, Moody's
believes that the benefits of AGCO's operational restructurings
are gaining traction.  As a result, credit metrics should begin
to show steady improvement and should position the company more
solidly within the Ba2 rating category, with interest coverage
approaching 2.5x, debt/EBITDA falling below 4.5x, and free cash
flow approaching $150 million.

Notwithstanding Moody's expectation that AGCO's credit metrics
will improve, the company will continue to face considerable
cyclicality in its markets, as evidenced by the current downturn
and by the company's current focus on strengthening its balance
sheet.  Moreover, while AGCO benefits from approximately US$100
million in annual free cash flow and a largely unutilized US$300
million revolving credit facility, the robustness of the
company's liquidity position is moderated by limited head room
under the revolver's financial covenants and by the fact that
the majority of its assets have been pledged as collateral under
its revolving credit facility and a US$400 million term loan.

Headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, Agco Corp. --
http://www.agcocorp.com/-- is a global manufacturer of
agricultural equipment and related replacement parts. Agco
offers a full product line including tractors, combines, hay
tools, sprayers, forage, tillage equipment and implements, which
are distributed through more than 3,600 independent dealers and
distributors in more than 140 countries worldwide, including
Brazil.  AGCO products include the following brands: AGCO(R),
Challenger(R), Fendt(R), Gleaner(R), Hesston(R), Massey
Ferguson(R), New Idea(R), RoGator(R), Spra-Coupe(R),
Sunflower(R), Terra-Gator(R), Valtra(R), and White(TM) Planters.
AGCO provides retail financing through AGCO Finance.  The
company had net sales of US$5.4 billion in 2005.


AMERICAN AXLE: S&P Rates US$50MM Sr. Unsecured Term Loan at BB
--------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned its 'BB' rating to
the new US$50 million senior unsecured term loan of American
Axle & Manufacturing Inc. (BB/Negative/--).  American Axle's
recently completed term loan credit facility provided the
ability to issue this incremental term loan.  Proceeds from the
new term loan will be used to reduce borrowings under the
company's revolving credit facility.

The corporate credit ratings on American Axle and parent
company, American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., are 'BB'.  
The rating outlook is negative.  The company has about US$717
million of lease-adjusted debt and US$425 million of underfunded
employee benefit liabilities.

The ratings on American Axle reflect the risks associated with
the company's heavy dependence on the General Motors Corp. (GM;
B/Watch Neg/B-3) SUVs and pickup trucks, current relatively
narrow product range, and American Axle's exposure to cyclical
and competitive markets.  These factors are tempered by American
Axle's

   -- high market shares,
   -- high-value-added product portfolio, and
   -- good R&D capabilities.
     
                        Ratings List

American Axle & Manufacturing Inc.
  Corporate credit rating                       BB/Negative/--
    Senior unsecured debt                       BB

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc.
  Corporate credit rating                       BB/Negative/--
  Senior unsecured debt                         BB


BANCO PANAMERICANO: Moody's Assigns B2 Rating on US$75MM Notes
--------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service assigned a B2 long-term foreign
currency debt rating to the second tranche of Banco PanAmericano
S.A.'s Step-up subordinated notes due 2016 in the amount of
US$75 million.  The outlook on the rating is stable.

The rating agency noted that the subordination of the notes was
taken into consideration and applied to Banco PanAmericano's Ba3
global local currency deposit rating.  At this rating level,
Moody's notching guidelines determine a two-notch differential
from the base rating.

The US$75 million tranche is in addition to US$50 million notes
issued in July 2006, and brings Banco PanAmericano's total
outstanding subordinated debt to US$125 million.

On June 15, 2006, Moody's assigned a D- bank financial strength
rating and a Ba3 global local currency rating to PanAmericano.  
The ratings reflect the bank's focused operation as a consumer
lender, catering to a diversified customer and product base,
both of which ensure high profitability and core earnings. The
bank's core earnings, measured as pre-provision profits as a
percentage of average total assets, at levels of nearly 10% for
the past 3 years, reflect PanAmericano's high-yielding loan
book, despite a higher than peers' operating costs. However,
Moody's notes, high cost of credit and a limited capital base
constrain the ratings for PanAmericano, and results in asset
quality indicators that compare poorly to that of its peers'.

Banco PanAmericano is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil and had
total assets of BRL2.54 billion and equity of BRL413 million in
March 2006.

This rating was assigned:

US$75 million Subordinated Notes: B2 long-term foreign currency
debt rating, stable outlook.


BANCO NACIONAL: Approves BRL117.3-Mil. Financing to Coelba
----------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social aka BNDES
approved a BRL 117.3-million financing to Coelba, the electric
power distribution company in the State of Bahia.  The total
investment will amount BRL201.2 million and the concessionaire
will apply BRL83.9 million by using its own resources.

With the intermediation of four BNDES financing agents:

   -- Banco do Brasil,
   -- Votorantim,
   -- Bradesco and
   -- Santander,  

the credit operation is directed to finance the concessionaire
investment plan execution for the expansion and modernization of
its distribution network, to meet more than 200,000 new users.

Coelba is an electric power distributor managed by Neoenergia
S.A., having as its majority shareholder the Banco do Brasil
Employees' Pension Fund or Previ with 49%.  Iberdrola Spanish
group is the second largest shareholder, with 39%, and Banco do
Brasil has the remaining 12%.

Investments performed by Neoenergia group to Coelba from 1997,
already amounted to BRL4.5 billion.  Only last year, the holding
company invested BRL510 million in Coelba.

Due to permanent investments in planning, control, operational
and maintenance studies, and the digitalization and automation
of its operational systems, Coelba has been achieving
significant gains in quality and confidence.  It has also
managed to reduce interruptions in electric power supply and
decrease support service average time in occurrences of
interruption.  With this, the number of complaints dropped by
150,000 in 2001 to 20,000 in 2005.

Currently, 134 out of 260 Coelba substations are already totally
automatized.  The operations of those substations are
interlinked with Operational Centers and such substations
already respond by 80% of the total installed electric power
distribution.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 3, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign currency
counterparty credit rating on Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento
Economico e Social S.A. aka BNDES to 'BB' with a stable outlook
from 'BB-' with a positive outlook.  The company's local
currency credit rating was also shifted to 'BB+' with a stable
outlook from 'BB' with a positive outlook.


BANCO NACIONAL: Grants BRL114.7-Mil. Financing to Marisa Lojas
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social aka BNDES
approved a financing of BRL 114.7 million to Marisa Lojas
Varejistas Ltda. for the expansion and repair of its store
network.

The expansion of the Marisa store chain started in 2005 and will
be implemented by the year of 2007.  It is a direct operation
that will allow the opening of 19 stores, expansion of 30 units
and repair of 12 units, in the States of:

   -- Sao Paulo,
   -- Rio de Janeiro,
   -- Minas Gerais,
   -- Rio Grande do Sul,
   -- Parana,
   -- Santa Catarina,
   -- Distrito Federal,
   -- Mato Grosso do Sul,
   -- Bahia,
   -- Ceara,
   -- Para,
   -- Paraiba,
   -- Pernambuco,
   -- Sergipe,
   -- Rio Grande do Norte,
   -- Alagoas,
   -- Maranhao,
   -- Amazonas,
   -- Rondonia,
   -- Tocantins and
   -- Acre.

With the implementation of this project, Marisa Lojas expects to
generate 2,150 direct jobs and 7,550 indirect jobs.

Marisa Lojas has the objective of strengthening its presence in
places where it already operates, by investing in a new store
concept called "Marisa Ampliada" or "Enlarged Marisa".  The new
proposal has a blend of more complete and differentiated
products than its current program.

The new concept is aimed at optimizing the use of the selling
area and modernizing goods exhibition, besides controlling the
trademark in which it operates.  This concept enables the
increase in competitiveness as a result of the growth in sales,
improvement in the existing logistics and dilution of fixed
costs.

Headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, The Marisa network is
comprised of 153 stores and is present in 25 states.  It belongs
to the Goldfarb group and employs over 7,500 people.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on March 3, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised its foreign currency
counterparty credit rating on Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento
Economico e Social S.A. aka BNDES to 'BB' with a stable outlook
from 'BB-' with a positive outlook.  The company's local
currency credit rating was also shifted to 'BB+' with a stable
outlook from 'BB' with a positive outlook.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Unit Acquires Stake in Cascade & Chinook
-------------------------------------------------------------
Petrobras America Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleo
Brasileiro S.A., disclosed the acquisition of additional
participation of 25% in the Cascade and 26.67% in the Chinook
discoveries from BHP Billiton.  Petrobras also agreed to buy up
to the 15% interest that Hess holds in the Chinook project.  
Upon completion of these transactions the company will own 50%
and up to 71.67% in Cascade and Chinook, respectively, and will
be the operator of the two field developments.  The remainder
participations in Cascade and Chinook will be respectively held
by Devon and Total.

Both Cascade and Chinook are located in the Walker Ridge OCS
leasing area in water depths ranging from 78,000 ft to 910,000
ft.  The two acquisitions have significant oil pays as in the
Eocene Paleogene reservoirs, at depths of around 27,000 ft. for
both discovery wells.  Subsequent appraisal wells and a
sidetrack of this appraisal confirmed the extension of the
Cascade oil reservoirs while an appraisal well is being planned
for Chinook in the near future.

Given the technological and operational challenges that these
developments pose Petrobras will pursue a fast track, phased
development approach, with first oil scheduled for 2009.  
Initially, at least and two Cascade wells and at least one
Chinook well will be completed and brought onstream through a
Floating Production Storage and Offloading facility or FPSO.  
Subsequent wells and facilities will be designed in accordance
with the initial production results.

The development of Cascade and Chinook is enormously important
for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas industry.  In addition
to tapping into Paleogene oil reservoirs never developed in this
ultra deep water region, it will deploy a development concept
based on a FPSO, new to the USA waters, but very familiar to
Petrobras in its operations offshore Brazil.

In addition to these two field developments, Petrobras is
conducting a very aggressive exploration campaign in the GOM,
which includes acquisition of additional acreage and a
participation in wells being drilled or planned for the near
future in the shelf deep gas shelf play, the Garden Banks, and
the Corpus Christi areas and the ultra deep water regions.  In
order to deliver this program, Petrobras recently awarded a
five-5 year contract to a drilling contractor for a rig capable
of operating in water depths of 10,000 ft, and is in
negotiations for another rig.  Both rigs are to be allocated to
Petrobras GOM, its US operation.

Petrobras is also the operator of the Cottonwood gas field
development, in the Garden Banks area, with 80% participation.  
Consisting of a subsea tie back to existing facilities in
shallower water, the production start up is scheduled for the
beginning of 2007.

                  About Petroleo Brasileiro

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro
S.A. aka Petrobras was founded in 1953.  The company explores,
produces, refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and
natural gas and power to various wholesale customers and retail
distributors in the country.

                        *    *    *

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rated Ba3 by Moody's and its foreign currency long-term debt is
rated BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 26, 2006,
in conjunction with the roll out of Issuer Default Ratings and
Recovery Ratings for Latin America Corporates, Fitch Ratings has
taken rating actions on Petroleo de Brasileiro SA.  These
ratings were affected:

  Foreign Currency:

    -- Previous Rating: 'BB-'
    -- New RR: 'BB', Rating Outlook Positive

  US$2.5 billion, Senior Unsecured Notes due 2008, 2013, 2014
  and 2018:

    -- Previous Rating: 'BB-'
    -- New IDR: 'BB+'


* BRAZIL: Will Discuss Itaipu Dam Debt Payment with Paraguay
------------------------------------------------------------
Paraguay's ministers will meet with their Brazilian counterparts
on Aug. 17 to discuss debt payments on the construction of the
Itaipu hydroelectric dam that the two nations jointly owned, Dow
Jones notes, citing, Silas Rondeau, the mines and energy
minister of Brazil.

Dow Jones relates that it was the second session held regarding
the proposal to abolish a clause that says the repayment of the
debt would depend on US inflation.  

The Itaipu dam has a generating capacity of 12,600 megawatts,
Dow Jones reports.  The dam's construction -- completed in 1983
-- was mainly funded by the Brazilian government, leaving a
US$19 billion debt.   Paraguay's repayments on the debt were
based on US inflation during renegotiations to the debt in 1996.

Dow Jones states that the Brazilian government refuses to change
the terms of the accord but is willing to avoid an argument with
Paraguay.  

Brazil already has conflict with Bolivia regarding the former's
state firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA operations in the latter.  
Bolivia's President Evo Morales had implemented a
nationalization of the hydrocarbons sector in May, insisting for
a renewal of contracts on prices for gas shipped to Brazil, Dow
Jones reports.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Brazil:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BB-      Nov. 18, 2004
   Long Term IDR      BB-      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR     B        Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB-      Dec. 14, 2005




===========================
C A Y M A N   I S L A N D S
===========================


ARGENT NIM 2003-N6: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Sept. 7
------------------------------------------------------------
Argent Nim 2003-N6's shareholders will convene for a final
meeting on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           Maples Finance Limited
           Queensgate House, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

The liquidators can be reached at:

           Chris Watler
           Emile Small
           Maples Finance Limited
           P.O. Box 1093, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


ARGENT NIM 2003-N8: Last Shareholders Meeting Is Set for Sept. 7
----------------------------------------------------------------
Argent Nim 2003-N8's shareholders will convene for a final
meeting on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           Maples Finance Limited
           Queensgate House, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

The liquidators can be reached at:

           Chris Watler
           Emile Small
           Maples Finance Limited
           P.O. Box 1093, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


ARGENT NIM 2004-WN4: Final Shareholders Meeting Is on Sept. 7
-------------------------------------------------------------
Argent Nim 2004-WN4's shareholders will convene for a final
meeting on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           Maples Finance Limited
           Queensgate House, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

The liquidators can be reached at:

           Chris Watler
           Emile Small
           Maples Finance Limited
           P.O. Box 1093, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


CHARLOTTE LIMITED: To Hold Final Shareholders Meeting on Sept. 7
----------------------------------------------------------------
Charlotte Limited's shareholders will convene for a final
meeting on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           Ansbacher (Cayman) Limited
           Clifton House, 75 Fort Street, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

The liquidators can be reached at:

           Cromer Limited
           Cawsand Limited
           P.O. Box 887, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


CITRIX CAYMAN: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Sept. 7
------------------------------------------------------------
Citrix Cayman Finance Group, Ltd.' final shareholders meeting
will be on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           Walkers
           Walker House, P.O. Box 265 GT
           Mary Street, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Karen Leopardi
           c/o Walkers
           Walker House, P.O. Box 265 GT
           Mary Street, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


EQUITY LCI: Deadline for Proofs of Claim Filing Is on Sept. 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
Equity LCI Limited's creditors are required to submit proofs of
claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Equity LCI's shareholders agreed on July 21, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


EQUITY MIA: Creditors Have Until Sept. 8 to File Proofs of Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------
Equity MIA Limited's creditors are required to submit proofs of
claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Equity MIA's shareholders agreed on July 20, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


INVESTCORP (INVESTING): Proofs of Claim Filing Is Until Sept. 8
---------------------------------------------------------------
Investcorp Minimax Investing Financing Limited's creditors are
required to submit proofs of claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the
company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Investcorp Minimax's shareholders agreed on July 20, 2006, for
the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


INVESTCORP (ISLAMIC): Proofs of Claim Must be Filed by Sept. 8
--------------------------------------------------------------
Investcorp Minimax Islamic Financing Limited's creditors are
required to submit proofs of claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the
company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Investcorp Minimax's shareholders agreed on July 20, 2006, for
the company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


MINIMAX EQUITY: Deadline for Proofs of Claim Filing Is Sept. 8
--------------------------------------------------------------
Minimax Equity Limited's creditors are required to submit proofs
of claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Minimax Equity's shareholders agreed on July 20, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


MINIMAX FUNDING: Last Day to File Proofs of Claim Is on Sept. 8
---------------------------------------------------------------
Minimax Funding Limited's creditors are required to submit
proofs of claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Minimax Funding's shareholders agreed on July 20, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


MINIMAX IIP: Creditors Must Submit Proofs of Claim by Sept. 8
-------------------------------------------------------------
Minimax IIP Limited's creditors are required to submit proofs of
claim by Sept. 8, 2006, to the company's liquidator:

           Westport Services Ltd.
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Creditors who are not able to comply with the Sept. 8 deadline
won't receive any distribution that the liquidator will make.
Creditors are required to present proofs of claim personally or
through their solicitors.

Minimax IIP's shareholders agreed on July 20, 2006, for the
company's voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of the
Companies Law (2004 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.

Parties-in-interest may contact:

           Bonnie Willkom
           P.O. Box 1111
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: (345) 949-5122
           Fax: (345) 949-7920


SF BONDS: Yukio Taniguchi Named as New Trustee for Proceeding
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Grand Cayman Court has appointed Yukio Taniguchi as the new
trustee to handle SF Bonds Investment Cayman Limited's winding-
up proceeding.  The appointment was made after the company's
shareholders passed a resolution on July 13, 2006, accepting the
resignation of Richard Gordon and Mike Hughes as liquidators.

The new liquidator can be reached at:

           Yukio Taniguchi
           Maples Finance Limited
           P.O. Box 1093, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

SF Bonds' shareholders agreed on May 29, 2006, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of Cayman's
Companies Law (2004 revision).


SF BONDS: Shareholders Gather for a Final Meeting on Sept. 7
------------------------------------------------------------
SF Bonds Investment Cayman Limited's shareholders will convene
for a final meeting on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           Maples Finance Limited
           Queensgate House, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Accounts on the company's liquidation process will be presented
during the meeting.  

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Yukio Taniguchi
           Maples Finance Limited
           P.O. Box 1093, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

SF Bonds' shareholders agreed on May 29, 2006, to place the
company into voluntary liquidation under Section 135 of Cayman's
Companies Law (2004 revision).


ZEST INVESTMENT: Holding Final Shareholders Meeting on Sept. 7
--------------------------------------------------------------
Zest Investment VI's final shareholders meeting will be at 10:00
a.m. on Sept. 7, 2006, at:

           BNP Paribas Bank & Trust Cayman Limited
           3rd floor Royal Bank House, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

These agenda will be taken during the meeting:

   1) accounting of the liquidation process showing how the
      winding up has been conducted during the preceding year,

   2) requesting the members' approval of the liquidation fees
      incurred to date, approval of the liquidator's estimated
      costs to completion, and

   3) hearing any explanation that may be given by the
      liquidator.

A member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting may appoint
a proxy, who need not be a member, in his stead.

The liquidator can be reached at:

           Puccadilly Cayman Limited
           Att: Regina Forman
                Darren Riley
           3rd Floor Royal Bank House, George Town
           Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
           Tel: 345 945 9208
           Fax: 345 945 9210




===============
C O L O M B I A
===============


CA INC: Commences US$1 Billion Tender Offer on Outstanding Stock
----------------------------------------------------------------
CA Inc. commenced its tender offer to purchase up to
approximately 40,816,327 shares of its outstanding common stock,
at a price not less than US$22.50 and not greater than US$24.50
per share (in increments of US$0.25), yesterday.  This
represents the initial phase of the US$2 billion stock
repurchase plan the company announced on June 29, 2006.
    
CA anticipates that it will pay for the shares purchased in the
offer and the related fees and expenses from bank borrowings and
available cash.  Depending on how the company chooses to finance
the share repurchase program, its ability to borrow under its
existing credit facility could be restricted unless it obtains a
waiver from its credit facility lending banks.  If necessary,
the company will seek a waiver of the restriction.  Although the
company expects that it will be able to finance the aggregate
purchase price to complete the offer from bank financing and
available cash, the company cannot provide any assurance that it
will receive financing with satisfactory terms and conditions.
The tender offer also is subject to a number of other important
conditions.

CA is considering various options to execute the second phase of
the program and will provide further details when appropriate.  
The company expects to complete the full $2 billion share
repurchase plan by the end of fiscal year 2007.

The tender offer will expire at 5 p.m. New York Time on Sept.
14, 2006, unless the company extends the expiration on the
offer.  Tenders of shares must be made on or prior to the
expiration of the tender offer and may be withdrawn at any time
prior to the expiration of the tender offer.

Under the terms of the tender offer, based on the number of
shares of common stock tendered and the prices specified by the
tendering stockholders, CA will determine the lowest per-share
price within the range that will enable it to buy 40,816,327
shares of common stock, or, if a lesser number of shares is
validly tendered, all shares that are validly tendered and not
validly withdrawn.

All shares of common stock purchased in the tender offer will be
purchased at the same determined price per share regardless of
whether the stockholder tendered at a lower price. If holders of
more than 40,816,327 shares of common stock validly tender their
shares at or below the determined purchase price per share, the
shares will be purchased on a pro rata basis except for "odd
lots" -- lots held by stockholders of less than 100 shares who
tender all of their shares-which will be purchased on a priority
basis, and conditional tenders whose condition was not met,
which will not be purchased.  Stockholders whose shares of
common stock are purchased in the tender offer will be paid the
determined purchase price net in cash, without interest after
the expiration of the offer period.

CA's executive officers and members of the Board of Directors
have advised the company that they do not intend to participate
in the tender offer.

The dealer managers for the tender offer are Banc of America
Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and J.P. Morgan
Securities Inc.  Innisfree M&A Incorporated is serving as the
information agent and Mellon Investor Services is serving as the
depositary for the tender offer.

                         About CA

Headquartered in Islandia, New York, CA Inc. (NYSE:CA) --
http://www.ca.com/-- is an information technology management   
software company that unifies and simplifies the management of
enterprise-wide IT.  Founded in 1976, CA serves customers in
more than 140 countries.  In Latin America, CA has operations in
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

                          *     *     *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Aug. 7, 2006,
Moody's Investors Service confirmed CA Inc.'s Ba1 senior
unsecured rating and assigned a negative rating outlook,
concluding a review for possible downgrade initiated on June 30,
2006.  The Ba1 rating confirmation reflects the company's
completed accounting review and reestablishment of current
filing of its 10-K and subsequent 10-Q's, including the
company's filing of its 10-K for its March 2006 fiscal year on
July 31, 2006.

Standard & Poor's Rating Services affirmed its 'BB' corporate
credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on CA Inc., and removed
them from CreditWatch where they were placed on July 5, 2006
with negative implications.  S&P said the outlook is negative.


ECOPETROL: Petrobras Vying for Majority Stake in Cartagena Plant
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro SA aka Petrobras and Glencore International
AG will bid for a 51% stake in the Cartagena refinery of
Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-owned oil firm.

Petrobras' decision to bid for Ecopetrol's plant is part of its
strategy to expand markets for its heavy crude.  

Amir Barbassa, the chief financial officer of Petrobras, said
that the firm is seeking for more markets for heavy crude it
produces in Brazil, selling it at a discount price of US$11 per
barrel.

The firm plans to process a maximum of heavy Brazilian oil in
Ecopetrol's Cartagena refinery, Mr. Barbassa notes.

Ecopetrol, which is looking for a private partner to increase
the capacity of the Cartagena refinery to 140,000 barrels daily,
will disclose the winning bidder -- the company that offers the
highest capital investment -- on Aug. 25, 2006. The new partner
would invest as much as US$800 million while Ecopetrol would
invest up to US$250 million.

As Colombia's diesel production doesn't meet its domestic needs,
the country decided to expand its Cartagena refinery through
selling part of it to an entity willing to upgrade and expand
it.  The nation is currently purchasing 6,000 barrels of diesel
per day from Venezuela and also imports diesel from the
Dominican Republic.

The upgrade and expansion project for the Cartagena plant
includes new cracking and hydro-treatment units.  

The Colombian government hopes that the upgraded plant would
start operations by the first half of 2010.  However, bidders
may propose their own schedule.

Meanwhile, Ecopetrol also pre-qualified UK's BP PLC and Japan's
Marubeni Corp. as potential bidders.  However, both refused to
file offers.

                       About Petrobras

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro
S.A. aka Petrobras was founded in 1953.  The company explores,
produces, refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and
natural gas and power to various wholesale customers and retail
distributors in the country.

                       About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol is an integrated-oil company that is wholly owned by
the Colombian government.  The company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas, as
well as refining, transportation, and marketing of crude oil,
natural gas and refined products.  Ecopetrol is Latin America's
fourth-largest integrated-oil concern.  Operations are organized
into Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing,
Transportation, and International Commerce & Gas.

On June 27, 2006, Fitch Ratings revised the rating outlook of
the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating of
Ecopetrol S.A. to Positive from Stable.  This rating action
follows the recent revision in the Rating Outlook to Positive
from Stable of the 'BB' foreign currency IDR of the Republic of
Colombia.  Ecopetrol's IDR remain strongly linked with the
credit profile of the Republic of Colombia.


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Vying for Majority Stake in Ecopetrol Plant
----------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleo Brasileiro SA aka Petrobras will participate in the
bidding for a 51% stake in the Cartagena refinery of Ecopetrol,
Colombia's state-owned oil firm.

The decision to bid for Ecopetrol's plant is part of Petrobras'
strategy to expand markets for its heavy crude.  

Amir Barbassa, the chief financial officer of Petrobras, said
that the firm is seeking for more markets for heavy crude it
produces in Brazil, selling it at a discount price of US$11 per
barrel.

The firm plans to process a maximum of heavy Brazilian oil in
Ecopetrol's Cartagena refinery, Mr. Barbassa notes.

Ecopetrol, which is looking for a private partner to increase
the capacity of the Cartagena refinery to 140,000 barrels daily,
will disclose the winning bidder -- the company that offers the
highest capital investment -- on Aug. 25, 2006. The new partner
would invest as much as US$800 million while Ecopetrol would
invest up to US$250 million.

As Colombia's diesel production doesn't meet its domestic needs,
the country decided to expand its Cartagena refinery through
selling part of it to an entity willing to upgrade and expand
it.  The nation is currently purchasing 6,000 barrels of diesel
per day from Venezuela and also imports diesel from the
Dominican Republic.

The upgrade and expansion project for the Cartagena plant
includes new cracking and hydro-treatment units.  

The Colombian government hopes that the upgraded plant would
start operations by the first half of 2010.  However, bidders
may propose their own schedule.

Meanwhile, Ecopetrol also pre-qualified UK's BP PLC and Japan's
Marubeni Corp. as potential bidders.  However, both refused to
file offers.

                        About Ecopetrol

Ecopetrol is an integrated-oil company that is wholly owned by
the Colombian government.  The company's activities include
exploration for and production of crude oil and natural gas, as
well as refining, transportation, and marketing of crude oil,
natural gas and refined products.  Ecopetrol is Latin America's
fourth-largest integrated-oil concern.  Operations are organized
into Exploration & Production, Refining & Marketing,
Transportation, and International Commerce & Gas.

                       About Petrobras

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Petroleo Brasileiro
S.A. aka Petrobras was founded in 1953.  The company explores,
produces, refines, transports, markets, distributes oil and
natural gas and power to various wholesale customers and retail
distributors in the country.

                        *    *    *

Petroleo Brasileiro SA's long-term corporate family rating is
rated Ba3 by Moody's and its foreign currency long-term debt is
rated BB- by Fitch.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on April 26, 2006,
in conjunction with the roll out of Issuer Default Ratings and
Recovery Ratings for Latin America Corporates, Fitch Ratings has
taken rating actions on Petroleo de Brasileiro SA.  These
ratings were affected:

  Foreign Currency:

    -- Previous Rating: 'BB-'
    -- New RR: 'BB', Rating Outlook Positive

  US$2.5 billion, Senior Unsecured Notes due 2008, 2013, 2014
  and 2018:

    -- Previous Rating: 'BB-'
    -- New IDR: 'BB+'


* COLOMBIA: Resumes Third Round of Free Trade Treaty Talks
----------------------------------------------------------
Colombia resumed on Tuesday the third round of Free Trade Treaty
talks with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras at Medellin's
Plaza Mayor Convention Center, Prensa Latina reports.

Prensa Latina relates that the talks were aimed at reaching a
trade agreement among the countries.  The initiative wants to
have a stable access, preferential and permanent to the main
markets of the world.

This new challenge obeys to a long-time commercial policy of
Colombia and its government, Eduardo Munoz, the nation's foreign
trade vice minister, told Prensa Latina.

Vice Minister Munoz mentioned to Prensa Latina the closeness of
the region in culture, language and other factors for a
commercial integration.  He also said that Colombian
entrepreneurs have a significant presence in the Central
American market, which has been seeking for new commercial
partners.

Vice Minister Munoz told Prensa Latina, "If we get that
preferential access we will be able to consolidate the Colombian
presence in the Central American market."

Due to "air and sea interconnection" problems between Colombia
has with the rest of Central America, the two parties' aircraft
authorities will hold a meeting on Thursday to study possible
measures, Prensa Latina states, citing the vice minister.

                        *    *    *

On May 30, 2005, Fitch Ratings affirmed Colombia's ratings as:

      -- Long-term foreign currency 'BB';
      -- Country ceiling 'BB';
      -- Local currency 'BBB-';
      -- Short-term 'B'.

Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.




===================
C O S T A   R I C A
===================


DENNY'S CORP: Reports Same-Store Sales for July
-----------------------------------------------
Denny's Corp. reported same-store sales for its company-owned
Denny's restaurants for the week-ended July 26, 2006, compared
with the related period in fiscal year 2005.

Sales:                                 July 2006     YTD 2006

Same-Store Sales                          3.0%         2.2%
   Guest Check Average                    4.2%         5.7%
   Guest Counts                          (1.1%)       (3.3%)


Restaurant Counts:                       7/26/06     12/28/05

   Company-Owned                           543          543
   Franchised and Licensed                1,025        1,035
                                      ------------- ------------
                                          1,568        1,578

Headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Denny's Corp.
-- http://www.dennys.com/-- is America's largest full-service
family restaurant chain, consisting of 543 company-owned units
and 1,035 franchised and licensed units, with operations in the
United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Guam, Mexico, New Zealand and
Puerto Rico.

At June 28, 2006, Denny's Corp.'s balance sheet showed a
US$257,947,000 stockholders' deficit compared with
US$266,547,000 deficit at Dec. 28, 2005.


* COSTA RICA: Government Will Tax Financial Services
----------------------------------------------------
The government of Costa Rica is planning to introduce a plan to
tax financial services, in an effort to increase revenue, Inside
Costa Rica reports.

Inside Costa Rica relates that the new tax was criticized as it
could reduce the number of Costa Ricans using banks, preferring
to pay cash, as they will be paying more on the financial
services due to the new tax.  

Banking experts told Inside Costa Rica that if there would be
lesser bank transactions, banking services will be more costly
as banks have less resources to operate with.

At present, several workers prefer to use direct deposit and use
ATM cards or credit cards to make their purchases and suppliers
get paid by cheques and/or electronic payments, Inside Costa
Rica says.  

Noman Solano of ICS Consultores told Inside Costa Rica that
small-to-medium-sized firms will also opt to paying cash to
suppliers and employees instead of using cheques and electronic
banking systems.

According to the report that taxation on financial services has
been implemented in several South American nations.  It resulted
in uneven results for the economy and controversy over its
application.

Inside Costa Rica notes that the Costa Rican government pretends
to tax CRC4 on each CRC1,000 transaction, with an objective set
on using the tax revenue to pay losses the country's Banco
Central incurred.  Banco Central is a major component of
inflation in Costa Rica.

The report says that it is yet unclear if the tax would be
imposed on all transactions or on specific types of transaction
and if there will be limit, low and high, and if applies only to
local currency transactions or dollars or both.  The amount of
revenue the tax will generate for the government coffers and its
manner of implementation was also not disclosed.

"The initial impact will be a great recollection of tax, but
with time it will evaporate as consumers defer using cheques and
plastic, preferring to use cash," Jorge Guardua, an economic
advisor at Deloitte, told La Republica.

A reduced than expected revenue from the tax could happen.  
Financial institutions might also lose track of financial
transactions, an important source of information for banks,
Inside Costa Rica states.

                        *    *    *

Costa Rica is rated by Moody's:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst Ba2,
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt  Ba1,
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst NP,
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt  NP,
      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt Ba1, and
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   Ba1.

Fitch assigned these ratings to Costa Rica:

      -- Foreign currency long-term debt, BB,
      -- Local currency long-term debt, BB, and
      -- Foreign currency short-term debt, B.

Costa Rica carries these ratings from Standard & Poor's:

      -- Foreign Currency LT Debt BB,
      -- Local Currency LT Debt   BB+,
      -- Foreign Currency ST Debt B, and
      -- Local Currency ST Debt   B.




=======
C U B A
=======


* CUBA: Bolivian Trade Institute Notes Zero Export to Venezuela
---------------------------------------------------------------
For the first six months of 2006, Cuban export to Venezuela was
nil, El Universal reports, citing a report from the Bolivian
Trade Institute.

The report underscores that in 2005, Cuba posted US$5000 in
exports to Venezuela.  

The result raised serious questions from the private sector
regarding the efficiency of the Peoples' Trade Accord and the
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas among Venezuela, Bolivia
and Cuba.  Both accords were aimed to counter US-sponsored Free
Trade Agreements, El Universal says.

Bolivia hosted in May a fair to encourage trade from both the
Peoples' Trade Accord and the Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas.

                        *    *    *

Moody's assigned these ratings to Cuba:

      -- CC LT Foreign Bank Depst, Caa2
      -- CC LT Foreign Curr Debt, Caa1
      -- CC ST Foreign Bank Depst, NP
      -- CC ST Foreign Curr Debt, NP
      -- Issuer Rating, Caa1




===================================
D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================


FALCONBRIDGE LTD: Xstrata Acquires 67.8% of the Company's Shares
----------------------------------------------------------------
Xstrata plc has disclosed that 257,700,100 common shares of
Falconbridge Limited had been validly deposited to Xstrata's
offer to acquire all Falconbridge common shares not already
owned by the company.

Xstrata has taken up and accepted for payment all shares
tendered, which represent approximately 67.8% of the issued and
outstanding Common Shares on a fully diluted basis.  Xstrata now
beneficially owns 349,922,526 Common Shares or approximately
92.1% of the issued and outstanding Common Shares on a fully
diluted basis.  Payment will be made to shareholders who have
tendered their shares on or before Aug. 17, 2006.

In line with Xstrata's intention to acquire 100% of Falconbridge
as soon as possible, the company has also extended the expiry
date of its all-cash offer to enable the remaining Falconbridge
shareholders to receive prompt payment of the same CDN$62.50 per
share consideration under the offer.  The offer will now expire
at midnight (Vancouver time) on Aug. 25, 2006.  All other terms
and conditions of Xstrata's offer described in its offer and
offering circular dated May 18, 2006, as varied, amended, and
supplemented, remain unchanged.  Xstrata intends to acquire all
Common Shares not tendered to the offer following the expiry of
the offer pursuant to a compulsory acquisition or subsequent
acquisition transaction.

Xstrata has now taken effective control of Falconbridge and both
management teams are working closely together to facilitate a
smooth and swift integration of the two businesses.

Falconbridge shareholders with questions or requests for copies
of the documents, may contact:

           Kingsdale Shareholder Services Inc.
           Tel: 1-866-639-7993

Banks and brokers should call at 416-867-2272.

                       About Xstrata

Xstrata plc -- http://www.xstrata.com/-- is a major global
diversified mining group, listed on the London and Swiss stock
exchanges.  The Group is and has approximately 24,000 employees
worldwide, including contractors.

Xstrata does business in six major international commodities
markets: copper, coking coal, thermal coal, ferrochrome,
vanadium and zinc, with additional exposures to gold, lead and
silver.  The Group's operations and projects span four
continents and nine countries: Australia, South Africa, Spain,
Germany, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, the U.K. and Canada.

                     About Falconbridge

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Falconbridge Limited
(TSX:FAL) (NYSE:FAL) -- http://www.falconbridge.com/-- is a
leading copper and nickel company with investments in fully
integrated zinc and aluminum assets.  Its primary focus is the
identification and development of world-class copper and nickel
orebodies.  It employs 14,500 people at its operations and
offices in 18 countries.  The Company owns nickel mines in
Canada and the Dominican Republic and operates a refinery and
sulfuric acid plant in Norway.  It is also a major producer of
copper (38% of sales) through its Kidd mine in Canada and its
stake in Chile's Collahuasi mine and Lomas Bayas mine.  Its
other products include cobalt, platinum group metals, and zinc.

                        *    *    *

Falconbridge's CDNUS$150 million 5% convertible and callable
bonds due April 30, 2007, carries Standard & Poor's BB+ rating.


TAG-IT PACIFIC: Posts US$665,000 Second Quarter 2006 Net Income
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tag-It Pacific, Inc., disclosed financial results for its second
quarter and six-month period ended June 30, 2006.

For the three months ended June 30, 2006, Tag-It Pacific
reported net income of US$655,000, or US$0.04 per share, as
compared with a net loss for the same period in 2005 of
US$12,476,000, or US$0.68 per share.

"The quarter's net income results are very encouraging and
represent an important turning point for the Company," commented
Stephen Forte, the company's CEO.  "Our strategic concentration
on growing the business through quality, profitable sales,
expanding our customer base, and continuing to focus on lowering
costs is principally responsible for the positive performance,"
Mr. Forte said.  

The net income for the quarter includes a US$46,000 non-cash
compensation charge for employee stock options in accordance
with FAS 123R that was adopted by the company in 2006.

For the six months ended June 30, 2006, Tag-It Pacific reported
a net loss of US$74,000, or US$0.00 per share, as compared with
a net loss for the first six months of 2005 of US$14,125,100, or
US$0.78 per share.  The FAS 123R charge included in earnings for
the six-months ended June 30, 2006, was US$165,000.

Sales for the three months ended June 30, 2006, were
US$14,246,000 as compared with sales of US$15,640,000 for the
same quarter in 2005.  The decline in sales for the quarter is
principally the result of the elimination of lower-margin sales
activities in Mexico and Central America that were discontinued
in the fourth quarter of 2005.  Despite the lower volumes, gross
profit for the three months ended June 30, 2006, increased over
the same period in 2005 by US$3.4 million as the Company
eliminated substantial operating and manufacturing costs,
avoided excess inventory and obsolescence costs, and improved
its overall margin on sales.

For the six months ended June 30, 2006 sales were US$24,884,000,
as compared with sales of US$28,695,000 for the same period in
2005.  The sales decline for the six months results from the
discontinuance of lower-margin sales activities in Mexico and
Central America as noted above and the impact of our shift in
focus to the rapidly growing apparel markets in Asia as the
Company's sales base in Mexico and the U.S. declines.  Gross
margins for the six months ended June 30, 2006 improved US$3.0
million as compared with the same period in 2005 as lower
manufacturing and delivery costs and higher margin sales, offset
the revenue decline.

Operating expenses for the three and six months ended
June 30, 2006, were lower than the same periods in 2005 by
US$8.4 million and US$9.5 million, respectively.  The cost
reductions are partially the elimination of a US$6.5 million
provision for uncollectible receivables in Mexico that was
recorded in 2005, and the cost savings resulting from the
organizational restructuring implemented in the third quarter of
2005.

"We believe our business opportunities are substantial and with
our new organization structure, operating disciplines, and
strategic focus we are confident that our plan will result in
renewed shareholder confidence and value," Stephen Forte
concluded.

                    About Tag-It Pacific

Tag-It Pacific, Inc., distributes apparel items to fashion
manufacturers United States, Asia, Mexico, the Dominican
Republic, and Central and South America.  Also it offers formed
wire metal zippers for the jeans and sportswear industries.

                     Going Concern Doubt

Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein, LLP, in Los Angeles,
California, raised substantial doubt about Tag-It Pacific,
Inc.'s ability to continue as a going concern after auditing the
Company's consolidated financial statements for the year ended
Dec. 31, 2005.  The auditor pointed to the Company's incurred
net loss of US$29,537,709 and accumulated deficit of
US$50,434,042 at December 31, 2005.




=====================
E L   S A L V A D O R
=====================


* EL SALVADOR: Joins Third Round of Free Trade Treaty Talks
-----------------------------------------------------------
El Salvador joined Tuesday the third round of Free Trade Treaty
talks with Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras at Plaza Mayor
Convention Center of Medellin, Colombia, Prensa Latina reports.

Prensa Latina relates that the talks were aimed at reaching an
FTT among the countries.  The initiative wants to have a stable
access, preferential and permanent to the main markets of the
world.

This new challenge obeys to a long-time commercial policy of
Colombia and its government, Eduardo Munoz, the nation's foreign
trade vice minister, told Prensa Latina.

Vice Minister Munoz mentioned to Prensa Latina the closeness of
the region in culture, language and other factors for a
commercial integration.  He also said that Colombian
entrepreneurs have a significant presence in the Central
American market, which has been seeking for new commercial
partners.

Vice Minister Munoz told Prensa Latina, "If we get that
preferential access we will be able to consolidate the Colombian
presence in the Central American market."

Due to "air and sea interconnection" problems between Colombia
has with the rest of Central America, the two parties' aircraft
authorities will hold a meeting on Thursday to study possible
measures, Prensa Latina states, citing the vice minister.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on El Salvador:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB+      Jun. 18, 2004
   Long Term IDR       BB+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B        Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB+      Dec. 14, 2005




=================
G U A T E M A L A
=================


* GUATEMALA: Participates in Third Round of Free Trade Talks
------------------------------------------------------------
Guatemala participated in the third round of Free Trade Treaty
talks with Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras at Plaza Mayor
Convention Center of Medellin, Colombia, Prensa Latina reports.

Prensa Latina relates that the talks were aimed at reaching an
FTT among the countries.  The initiative wants to have a stable
access, preferential and permanent to the main markets of the
world.

This new challenge obeys to a long-time commercial policy of
Colombia and its government, Eduardo Munoz, the nation's foreign
trade vice minister, told Prensa Latina.

Vice Minister Munoz mentioned to Prensa Latina the closeness of
the region in culture, language and other factors for a
commercial integration.  He also said that Colombian
entrepreneurs have a significant presence in the Central
American market, which has been seeking for new commercial
partners.

Vice Minister Munoz told Prensa Latina, "If we get that
preferential access we will be able to consolidate the Colombian
presence in the Central American market."

Due to "air and sea interconnection" problems between Colombia
has with the rest of Central America, the two parties' aircraft
authorities will hold a meeting on Thursday to study possible
measures, Prensa Latina states, citing the vice minister.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Guatemala:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BB+      Feb. 22, 2006
   Long Term IDR      BB+      Feb. 22, 2006
   Short Term IDR     B        Feb. 22, 2006
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB+      Feb. 22, 2006

Fitch also rated Guatemala's senior unsecured bonds:

Maturity Date          Amount        Rate       Ratings
-------------          ------        ----       -------
Aug. 3, 2007        US$150,000,000     8.5%         BB+
Nov. 8, 2011        US$325,000,000    10.25%        BB+
Aug. 1, 2013        US$300,000,000     9.25%        BB+
Oct. 6, 2034        US$330,000,000     8.125%       BB+




===========
G U Y A N A
===========


DIGICEL LTD: To Enter Guyana Telecommunications Market
------------------------------------------------------
Digicel Group disclosed that it will receive a license from the
Government of Guyana to operate a GSM network.  The license will
enable the company to offer Guyana cutting-edge technology and
innovative, mobile telecommunications services while expanding
its footprint into South America.

Guyana has a population of nearly 800,000 people with mobile
penetration at approximately 22%.  Digicel expects to make a
significant impact on the quality and standard of mobile
telecommunications in this country by investing in state-of-the-
art infrastructure and offering services and handsets that will
deliver real value to its customers.

The President of Guyana, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo, received a cricket
bat signed by members of the Digicel sponsored West Indies
cricket team from Digicel Group CEO, Mr. Colm Delves.  The
cooperative government of Guyana has informed Digicel that it
will receive a license to offer the country cutting-edge
technology and innovative, mobile telecommunications services.  
The new license will also expand the company's market into South
America.

"The telecommunications industry has become increasingly
important to Guyana now and for the future," said President of
Guyana, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo.  "Digicel not only has an
outstanding track record, but the company is a recognized
telecommunications leader in the Caribbean.  We are excited
about Digicel's entry into Guyana and certainly looking forward
to reaping the benefits of its customer-centric focus and
innovative mobile telecommunications."

Building on its continued mission to establish a seamless pan-
Caribbean network and help bridge the technology divide from one
nation to another, the new license will extend Digicel's reach
to 21 markets across the region and comes in the wake of its
launch in neighbouring French Guiana in June 2006.

"Digicel is delighted to bring to Guyana the true benefits of
accessible mobile technology and we are grateful to President
Bharrat Jagdeo and the Ministry responsible for
Telecommunications for their support," said Colm Delves, Digicel
Group CEO.  "We look forward to continuing our fruitful
relationship with the Guyana government.  This license will
enable Digicel to contribute to Guyana's economic growth through
job creation, sponsorships, and community-building initiatives."

Tim Bahrani, a senior executive who has more than eleven years
experience in mobile telecommunications management, will head
Digicel Guyana's operation.  Prior to joining Digicel, he
previously held senior management positions at Celtel, Africa's
leading mobile operator and Millicom International in Asia.

With US$1.2 billion invested in the Caribbean over the past five
years, Digicel has become one of the most admired and leading
brands in the region as well as a significant employer of 2,000
staff members.

                        About Digicel                   

Digicel Limited is a wireless services provider in the Caribbean
region founded in 2000, and controlled by Denis O'Brien.  The
company started operations in Jamaica in April 2001 and now
offers GSM mobile services in 13 countries of the Caribbean
including Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Aruba, Grenada,
Barbados, Cayman, and Curacao among others.  Digicel finished
FY2005 with 1.722 million total subscribers -- 97% pre-paid --
estimated market share of 67% and revenues and EBITDA of US$478
million and US$155 million, respectively.

                        *    *    *

On July 12, 2006, Moody's Investors Service assigned a B3 senior
unsecured rating to the US$150 million add-on Notes offering of
Digicel Limited and affirmed Digicel's existing B3 senior
unsecured and B1 Corporate Family Ratings.  The outlook has been
changed to stable from positive.

Fitch Ratings assigned on July 14, 2006, a 'B' rating to Digicel
Limited's proposed add-on offering of US$150 million 9.25%
senior notes due 2012.  These notes are an extension of the
US$300 million notes issued in July 2005.  In addition, Fitch
also affirms Digicel's foreign currency Issuer Default Rating
and the existing US$300 million senior notes due 2012 at 'B'.
Fitch said the Rating Outlook is Stable.



=========
H A I T I
=========


* HAITI: Stabilization Mission Extended Six Months
--------------------------------------------------
The MINUSTAH, an international stabilization mission the United
States sponsors for Haiti and which is conducted by the United
Nations or UN, has been extended until Feb. 15, 2007, The
Washington File reports.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Aug. 8, 2006, Kofi Annan, the secretary-general of the United
Nations, said at a joint press conference with Haiti's President
Rene Preval that he would ask UN member states to extend the
MINUSTAH mission by 12 months because there are still much more
to be done in Haiti.  The UN had organized 7,000 stabilization
mission staff for Haiti's elections.  An unnamed official in
Haiti, however, said that security problems remain, especially
those on gun and drug smuggling.  The Haitian parliament had
complained that MINUSTAH did little to control armed gangs in
the capital and other big cities, making President Preval
request for special troops and police.

According to The File, the six-month extension of the mission
will most likely be extended to further periods.

The File relates that the UN Security Council voted unanimously
on Aug. 15 to extend the mission set to end on that day.

Violent crime is still a big problem in Haiti, especially in
Port-au-Prince, the UN told The File.  

                        *    *    *

Haiti is currently seeking international help to spur economic
development in the country.  President Rene Preval submitted
that the country's poverty, widespread unemployment and the
dilapidated state of infrastructures will be alleviated with
increased international assistance.




===============
H O N D U R A S
===============


WARNACO GROUP: Restating 2005 Reports Due to Accounting Errors
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Audit Committee of Warnaco Group, Inc.'s Board of Directors
has concluded that the company will restate its previously
reported financial statements for its fiscal year ended
December 31, 2005, and first fiscal quarter ended April 1, 2006.

The restatements are required as a result of certain
irregularities and errors discovered by the company during the
company's second quarter closing review.  The irregularities
primarily relate to the accounting for certain returns and
vendor allowances at its Chaps menswear division.  These matters
were reported to the company's Audit Committee, which engaged
outside counsel, who in turn retained independent forensic
accountants, to investigate and report to the Audit Committee.  
Based on information obtained in that investigation, and also to
correct for an error that resulted from the implementation of
its new systems infrastructure at its Swimwear Group in the
first quarter of fiscal 2006, and certain immaterial errors, the
Audit Committee has accepted management's recommendation that
the Company restate its financial statements.

Warnaco intends to file an amended annual report for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2005, and an amended quarterly report
for the quarter ended April 1, 2006, with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission.  Until these restated financial statements
are filed with the SEC, neither the company's consolidated
financial statements for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2005, and the related reports of the company's
independent registered public accounting firm, nor the company's
consolidated financial statements for the first fiscal quarter
ended April 1, 2006, should be relied upon.  The company has
discussed the matters relating to the accounting irregularities
and errors with Deloitte & Touche LLP, the company's independent
registered public accounting firm and is filing a Form 8-K with
the SEC in connection with its restatement decision.

Warnaco expects that the effect of the restatement for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2005, will be to reduce reported
net income from continuing operations per diluted share from
US$1.12 to between approximately US$1.05 and US$1.07 per diluted
share, and for the first fiscal quarter ended April 1, 2006 to
reduce reported net income per diluted share from US$0.34 to
between approximately US$0.28 and US$0.30 per diluted share.

Warnaco believes that the matters causing the restatements have
been identified and that management has taken appropriate
corrective action.  However, because the Audit Committee and its
advisors have not fully completed their investigation, the
company's analysis of the restatement adjustments has not been
finalized.  Accordingly, the estimated restatement amounts
disclosed above remain preliminary, unaudited and subject to
adjustment, possibly by amounts that could be material
individually or in the aggregate.  In addition, it is possible
that the company may identify additional new issues which could
also impact its previously issued financial statements and the
scope of the restatements described in this press release.  In
the event that new issues requiring restatement arise, it is
possible that such additional adjustments could be material
individually or in the aggregate.

Additionally, in connection with Warnaco's investigation,
three employees in the Chaps menswear division, who are not
"Executive Officers" as defined by the rules of the SEC, have
either resigned or been terminated.

"Warnaco is committed to maintaining an internal culture and
external reputation for practicing the highest standards in all
of our business affairs and has zero tolerance for violations of
our Code of Business Conduct and Corporate Ethics," Joe Gromek,
Warnaco's President and Chief Executive Officer, said.  "We are
deeply disappointed by the recent events at our Chaps menswear
division and believe, based on information provided to date by
the outside counsel to the Audit Committee and forensic
accountants, that the inappropriate behavior was confined to
that division.  We remain confident in the potential of our
brands and the prospects for our businesses."

Warnaco has evaluated the impact of the restatements of the
previously issued financial statements on the company's
assessments of the effectiveness of its internal control over
financial reporting as of the applicable periods, and concluded
that material weaknesses existed in the company's internal
control over financial reporting for the second and first fiscal
quarters of 2006 and the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005.

A material weakness, as defined by the Public Company Accounting
Oversight Board, is a control deficiency, or combination of
control deficiencies, that results in more than a remote
likelihood that a material misstatement of the annual or interim
financial statements will not be prevented or detected.  Based
on this definition, restatement of financial statements in prior
filings with the SEC is a strong indicator of the existence of a
"material weakness" in the design or operation of internal
control over financial reporting.

In connection with the restatements, Warnaco is seeking a
waiver of certain technical defaults under its credit agreement.   
Although no assurances can be given, based on conversations with
the agent for the lenders, the company is confident that it will
obtain the waiver in a timely fashion.

                    About Warnaco Group

Headquartered in New York, The Warnaco Group, Inc., is a leading
apparel company engaged in the business of designing, marketing
and selling intimate apparel, menswear, jeanswear, swimwear,
men's and women's sportswear and accessories under such owned
and licensed brands as Warner's(R), Olga(R), Lejaby(R), Body
Nancy Ganz(tm), Speedo(R), Anne Cole(R), Op(R), Ocean
Pacific(R), Cole of California(R) and Catalina(R) as well as
Chaps(R) sportswear and denim, J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez(R)
lingerie, Nautica(R) swimwear, Michael Kors(R) swimwear and
Calvin Klein(R) men's and women's underwear and sportswear,
men's, women's, junior women's and children's jeans and
accessories and women's and juniors' swimwear.  The company
emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2003.  Its Authentic
Fitness unit is the North American distributor of Speedo
swimwear.  In 2003 the last two US-based manufacturing
facilities were closed and production shifted to Honduras,
Mexico, and Asia.  In 2006 it acquired the license, wholesale,
and retail units for Calvin Klein jeans and accessories in
Europe and Asia.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised on Aug. 11, 2006, its
outlook on The Warnaco Group, Inc.'s ratings to stable from
positive.  At the same time, the ratings on Warnaco were
affirmed, including its 'BB-' corporate credit rating.  Total
debt outstanding at April 1, 2006, was about USUS$431 million.

"The outlook revision follows the company's announcement that it
will restate its financial statements for the fiscal year ended
December 2005 and the first quarter of 2006 ended April 1, 2006,
as a result of certain irregularities and errors related to
its accounting for returns and vendor allowances at its Chaps
menswear division," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Susan
H. Ding.


WARNACO: Net Revenues Up 20.5% to US$451.6M in Second Quarter
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Warnaco Group, Inc., reported results for the second quarter
ended July 1, 2006.

        Highlights for the Second Quarter of Fiscal 2006:

   -- Net revenues increased 20.5% to US$451.6 million, compared
      with US$374.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal
      2005;

   -- Gross profit margin was 35.1% of net revenues, compared
      with 30.2% in the second quarter of fiscal 2005;

   -- Operating income declined to US$14.0 million, compared
      with US$15.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2005;
      and

   -- Net income was US$3.4 million, or US$0.07 per diluted
      share, compared with US$6.3 million, or US$0.14 per
      diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2005.

Warnaco notes that fiscal 2006 second quarter results include
the operations of the Calvin Klein Jeans and related businesses
in Europe and Asia or the CKJEA Business, which were acquired on
January 31, 2006. Excluding the CKJEA Business, net revenues
increased 3.5% to US$387.9 million, compared with US$374.7
million in the prior year quarter, and operating income was
US$15.0 million compared with US$15.6 million in the prior year
quarter.  For the second quarter, net revenues from the CKJEA
Business were US$63.7 million and operating losses were US$1.0
million (including US$2.6 million of amortization expense).

"Contributions from certain pre-acquisition businesses and a
smaller than expected loss at the CKJEA Business resulted in the
better than anticipated second quarter results," said Joe
Gromek, Warnaco's President and Chief Executive Officer.  "The
Intimate Apparel Group, led by Calvin Klein Underwear and
Warner's, continued its positive momentum from the first quarter
and delivered significant increases in gross profit and
operating income.  Speedo also delivered strong sales growth and
substantial improvements in profitability.  Unfortunately, this
positive performance was substantially offset by the poor
performance of the Sportswear Group.  Significantly higher
dilution at Chaps due to higher markdown allowances compared
withthe prior year period and the shift in timing of certain
membership club sales negatively affected the Sportswear
segment."

Mr. Gromek continued, "We continue to believe the development of
our global wholesale and retail platform positions us to achieve
our long term revenue and operating income targets.  
Additionally, with the acquisition of the CKJEA Business, which
is surpassing our performance expectations, we believe our
international businesses, which generate operating margins well
above the Company average, will account for approximately 40% of
our fiscal 2006 revenues."

                        Restatement

Warnaco will be restating its previously reported financial
statements for its fiscal year ended December 31, 2005, and
first fiscal quarter ended April 1, 2006.  The restatements are
required as a result of certain irregularities discovered by the
company during its second quarter closing review and certain
other errors.  The irregularities primarily relate to the
accounting for certain returns and customer allowances at the
company's Chaps menswear division.  These matters were reported
to the company's Audit Committee, which engaged outside counsel,
who in turn retained independent forensic accountants, to
investigate and report to the Audit Committee.  Based on
information obtained in that investigation, and also to correct
for an error that resulted from the implementation of Warnaco's
new systems infrastructure at the Swimwear Group in the first
quarter of fiscal 2006, and certain immaterial errors, the Audit
Committee accepted management's recommendation that the Company
restate its financial statements.

"We are deeply disappointed by what occurred at our Chaps
menswear division," concluded Mr. Gromek.  "However, the
investigation, which is now substantially complete, did not
reveal any inappropriate activity outside of that division.  In
spite of what happened, Chaps remains an important brand in our
portfolio with strong brand equity and consumer loyalty and we
expect Chaps to contribute to Warnaco's profitability in fiscal
2006 and beyond."

            Second Quarter Operating Highlights

Second quarter net revenues increased 20.5% to US$451.6 million,
including US$63.7 million in revenues from the CKJEA Business.  
Intimate Apparel Group net revenues increased 6.9% compared with
the prior year, reflecting continued positive consumer response
to Calvin Klein Underwear and Warner's.  Swimwear Group net
revenues increased 17.6% compared with the prior year period
driven by Speedo, Michael Kors and Calvin Klein.  Sportswear
Group net revenues (excluding the CKJEA Business) declined
13.4%, reflecting among other things the significantly higher
dilution at Chaps, the timing shift of certain sales to
membership clubs to the second half of the year and a decline in
off-price sales year over year.  The increase in net revenues
for the second quarter of fiscal 2006 includes approximately
US$2.5 million related to the translation of foreign currencies,
primarily as a result of a stronger euro and Canadian dollar
relative to the second quarter of fiscal 2005.

Gross profit was US$158.4 million, or 35.1% of net revenues,
including US$35.2 million in gross profit from the CKJEA
Business, compared withUS$113.0 million, or 30.2% of net
revenues, for the second quarter of fiscal 2005.  The 490 basis
point improvement in gross profit margin was the result of

   (i) the strong gross profit margins of the acquired CKJEA
       Business,

  (ii) improvements in Swimwear gross profit margins, and

(iii) improved product mix and more full price sales from the
       Intimate Apparel Group partially offset by declines in
       Chaps gross profit margin due to an incremental US$7.5
       million in markdown allowances compared with the prior
       year period.

Gross profit for the second quarter of fiscal 2006 includes
approximately US$1.0 million related to the translation of
foreign currencies, primarily as a result of a stronger euro and
Canadian dollar relative to the second quarter of fiscal 2005.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were US$140.4
million, or 31.1% of net revenues, compared withUS$95.3 million,
or 25.4% of net revenues, for the prior year quarter.  The
increase in SG&A included:

   (i) US$33.7 million from the CKJEA Business,

  (ii) US$6.3 million of incremental Swimwear Group expense
       primarily related to continued investment in Ocean
       Pacific brands and increased marketing and severance
       expense,

(iii) US$5.1 million resulting from an increased percentage of
       the Company's revenues generated from higher SG&A
       businesses, including international and retail; and

  (iv) US$1.6 million of incremental corporate information
       technology expenses primarily associated with the
       implementation of the new systems infrastructure.

SG&A was negatively affected by approximately US$0.4 million
related to the translation of foreign currencies, primarily as a
result of a stronger euro and Canadian dollar relative to the
second quarter of fiscal 2005.

Amortization of intangible assets was US$4.0 million, compared
withUS$1.1 million in the prior year period, primarily due to an
increase of US$2.6 million in intangible assets associated with
the acquisition of the CKJEA Business.

Operating income for the second quarter of fiscal 2006 was
US$14.0 million, including a loss of US$1.0 million from the
CKJEA Business, compared withUS$15.6 million in the prior year
period.  The strong operating profits from the Intimate Apparel
Group were offset by disappointing results in the Sportswear
Group, the seasonal weakness of the CKJEA Business and higher
expenses in the Swimwear Group.  Operating income for the second
quarter of fiscal 2006 includes approximately US$0.6 million
related to the translation of foreign currencies, primarily as a
result of a stronger euro and Canadian dollar relative to the
second quarter of fiscal 2005.

Other income was US$0.8 million, compared with a loss of US$0.9
million in the prior year quarter related primarily to foreign
exchange rate gains on the current portion of inter-company
loans denominated in foreign currencies.

Net interest expense increased to US$9.4 million compared
withUS$4.5 million in the prior year period.  The US$4.9 million
increase is primarily the result of incremental indebtedness
incurred in connection with the acquisition of the CKJEA
Business.

Net income was US$3.4 million, or US$0.07 per diluted share,
compared withUS$6.3 million, or US$0.14 per diluted share, for
the second quarter of fiscal 2005, which reflects the continued
strength in Intimate Apparel substantially offset by the
disappointing performance of the Sportswear Group.

       Balance Sheet Highlights as of July 1, 2006

Cash and cash equivalents were US$138.4 million, compared with
US$153.9 million of cash and cash equivalents at July 2, 2005,
notwithstanding the approximately US$70.8 million of cash (net
of acquired cash) used in connection with the acquisition of the
CKJEA Business on January 31, 2006.

In addition, during the quarter Warnaco used approximately
US$12.2 million of cash to repurchase 675,000 shares of common
stock under the company's previously announced share repurchase
program, at an average price of US$18.05.  Approximately 2.3
million shares remain authorized for repurchase under the share
repurchase program.  The share repurchase program may be
modified or terminated by the company's Board of Directors at
any time.

Accounts receivable were US$278.7 million, up from US$204.2
million at July 2, 2005.  Accounts receivable related to the
CKJEA Business were US$55.5 million.  Receivables, excluding the
CKJEA Business, were up 9.3% in the quarter.

Net inventories were US$311.0 million, up from US$277.3 million
at July 2, 2005.  Inventories at July 1, 2006 include US$44.6
million of inventory of the CKJEA Business and a US$6.5 million
increase in Swimwear inventory, for which the company believes
it is appropriately reserved.  Excluding the CKJEA Business,
inventories were down 3.9%, which reflects the company's
continued discipline related to planning and inventory
management.

                    Fiscal 2006 Outlook

Larry Rutkowski, Warnaco's Chief Financial Officer commented,
"Although the restatement we announced on August 8, 2006 will
lower fiscal 2005 results, our forward guidance continues to be
based upon fiscal 2005 results prior to giving effect to the
restatement.  For the year we continue to expect our pre-
acquisition business revenue growth to be in the low single
digits.  In addition, for our pre-acquisition businesses, we
continue to expect at least a 100 basis point improvement in
gross margin percentage and mid single digit percentage
improvement in the operating margin percentage over the prior
year (assuming minimal pension expense in fiscal 2006)."

Mr. Rutkowski concluded, "Overall, for the company (including
the acquired CKJEA Business), we continue to expect revenue
growth in 2006 to be at least in the low 20 percent range; mid
single digit percentage improvement in the operating margin
percentage over the prior year (assuming minimal pension expense
in fiscal 2006); and that the acquisition of the CKJEA Business
will be accretive to Warnaco's 2006 earnings per share."

                     Subsequent Events

In August 2006, Warnaco received a favorable ruling from the
Netherlands taxing authority relating to the company's European
operations.  The ruling, which is retroactive to the beginning
of 2006, is expected to have a positive impact on the company's
effective tax rate for fiscal 2006 and beyond.

                     About Warnaco Group

Headquartered in New York, The Warnaco Group, Inc., is a leading
apparel company engaged in the business of designing, marketing
and selling intimate apparel, menswear, jeanswear, swimwear,
men's and women's sportswear and accessories under such owned
and licensed brands as Warner's(R), Olga(R), Lejaby(R), Body
Nancy Ganz(tm), Speedo(R), Anne Cole(R), Op(R), Ocean
Pacific(R), Cole of California(R) and Catalina(R) as well as
Chaps(R) sportswear and denim, J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez(R)
lingerie, Nautica(R) swimwear, Michael Kors(R) swimwear and
Calvin Klein(R) men's and women's underwear and sportswear,
men's, women's, junior women's and children's jeans and
accessories and women's and juniors' swimwear.  The company
emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2003.  Its Authentic
Fitness unit is the North American distributor of Speedo
swimwear.  In 2003 the last two US-based manufacturing
facilities were closed and production shifted to Honduras,
Mexico, and Asia.  In 2006 it acquired the license, wholesale,
and retail units for Calvin Klein jeans and accessories in
Europe and Asia.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services revised on Aug. 11, 2006, its
outlook on The Warnaco Group, Inc.'s ratings to stable from
positive.  At the same time, the ratings on Warnaco were
affirmed, including its 'BB-' corporate credit rating.  Total
debt outstanding at April 1, 2006, was about US$431 million.

"The outlook revision follows the company's announcement that it
will restate its financial statements for the fiscal year ended
December 2005 and the first quarter of 2006 ended April 1, 2006,
as a result of certain irregularities and errors related to
its accounting for returns and vendor allowances at its Chaps
menswear division," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Susan
H. Ding.


* HONDURAS: Introducing Organic Banana Planting in Olancho
----------------------------------------------------------
Honduras' Ministry of Agriculture and livestock presented a
project for planting of organic bananas in the province of
Olancho, La Tribuna relates.  

Among the participants were farmers and consultants from
Chiquita Brands International who explained the potential
benefits of organic banana planting, according to the same
report.

Agriculture ministry representative Hernandez Amador noted that
Olancho's mountainous terrain makes it suit for the type of
cultivation used in organic planting.  Mr. Amador underscored
that the ministry has already undertaken a project to plant
oriental vegetables, which has a high international demand right
now, La Tribuna says.

The project involves planting on 100 to 150 hectares of land at
a cost of US$25,000 US per hectare, La Tribuna says.  

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Senior Unsecured    B2       Sept. 29, 1998
   Long Term IDR       B2       Sept. 29, 1998



* HONDURAS: Joins Third Round of Free Trade Talks
-------------------------------------------------
Honduras participated on Tuesday in the third round of Free
Trade Treaty or FTT talks with Colombia, El Salvador and
Guatemala at Plaza Mayor Convention Center of Medellin,
Colombia, Prensa Latina reports.

Prensa Latina relates that the talks were aimed at reaching an
FTT among the countries.  The initiative wants to have a stable
access, preferential and permanent to the main markets of the
world.

This new challenge obeys to a long-time commercial policy of
Colombia and its government, Eduardo Munoz, the nation's foreign
trade vice minister, told Prensa Latina.

Vice Minister Munoz mentioned to Prensa Latina the closeness of
the region in culture, language and other factors for a
commercial integration.  He also said that Colombian
entrepreneurs have a significant presence in the Central
American market, which has been seeking for new commercial
partners.

Vice Minister Munoz told Prensa Latina, "If we get that
preferential access we will be able to consolidate the Colombian
presence in the Central American market."

Due to "air and sea interconnection" problems between Colombia
has with the rest of Central America, the two parties' aircraft
authorities will hold a meeting on Thursday to study possible
measures, Prensa Latina states, citing the vice minister.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings on Honduras:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Senior Unsecured    B2       Sept. 29, 1998
   Long Term IDR       B2       Sept. 29, 1998




=============
J A M A I C A
=============


DELTA AIR: Posts US$2.2 Billion Net Loss in Second Quarter 2006
---------------------------------------------------------------
Delta Air Lines reported a US$2.2 billion loss in the second
quarter of 2006.

Excluding reorganization items, second quarter net income was
US$175 million;

Delta continued its substantial restructuring by:

     -- reducing employment costs through a new comprehensive
        agreement with its pilots and a reduction in corporate
        overhead,

     -- restructuring its route network through significant
        international growth, and

     -- lowering aircraft costs through:

          * negotiations, lease
          * rejections, and
          * aircraft returns.

As of June 30, 2006, Delta had US$4.0 billion in cash, cash
equivalents and short-term investments, of which US$2.9 billion
was unrestricted.

Delta's US$2.2 billion net loss in the second quarter of 2006
was greater than its US$382 million net loss in the second
quarter of 2005.  

Net income of Delta was US$175 million in the second quarter of
2006, a US$479 million improvement compared to the US$304
million net loss excluding special items in the second quarter
of 2005.

Operating margin for the quarter was 7.9%, a 10.9-point increase
over the same period in the prior year.

Delta also filed its Monthly Operating Report for June 2006 with
the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.  In that report, the company reported
a net loss of US$2.2 billion for the month. Excluding
reorganization items, June 2006 net income was US$145 million.

Gerald Grinstein, Delta's chief executive officer, said, "Delta
has made important progress toward our restructuring goals and
remains on track to exit bankruptcy in the first half of 2007 --
accomplishments that would not have been possible without the
participation and commitment of all Delta people.  With more
work ahead of us to return to financial health, continued
execution of our plan -- including improving our product and
providing superior service to our customers -- will be crucially
important going into the industry's less robust travel season."

Second quarter operating revenues increased by US$406 million or
9.6% compared to the second quarter of 2005, despite a 6.8%
decrease in capacity.  Passenger unit revenues increased 17%
compared to the June 2005 quarter as a result of a 15.0%
improvement in yield.  These results reflect the positive impact
of Delta's strategic initiatives, including the restructuring of
its route network and fare increases, which reflect strong
passenger demand and capacity reductions in the airline
industry.

Passenger load factor for the second quarter was 79.7%, a
1.4-point increase as compared to the second quarter of 2005.  
During the June quarter, Delta achieved its highest daily load
factor on record -- 94.4% on June 30.

Operating expenses for the second quarter decreased 2.1% from
the corresponding period in the prior year, despite a fuel
expense increase of US$313 million attributable to higher fuel
prices.  Fuel prices rose 30% year over year to US$2.08 per
gallon, driving a 5% increase in consolidated unit costs.  
However, as a result of the cost reduction initiatives included
in Delta's restructuring plan, mainline unit costs excluding
fuel and prior year special items decreased 3.3%.

In September 2005, Delta announced a comprehensive restructuring
plan intended to deliver an additional US$3 billion in annual
financial benefits through revenue improvements and cost
reductions by the end of 2007.  During the June 2006 quarter,
Delta continued its restructuring progress by:

    * Implementing a new comprehensive agreement with the Air
      Line Pilots Association (ALPA), representing Delta pilots,
      which provides the company with approximately US$280
      million in average annual pilot labor cost savings through
      a combination of changes to pay, benefits and work rules.
      After ratification by the pilots and approval by the
      Bankruptcy Court, the agreement became effective
      June 1, 2006.  The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
      (PBGC) has appealed to the United States District Court
      the Bankruptcy Court's order authorizing Delta to enter
      into the new agreement with ALPA.  In the agreement, ALPA
      agreed to not oppose termination of the defined benefit
      pension plan for pilots (Pilot Plan).  On June 19, a
      notice of intent to terminate the Pilot Plan was filed
      with the PBGC and, on Aug. 4, Delta filed a motion with
      the Bankruptcy Court to seek a determination that the
      company satisfies the financial requirements for a
      distress termination of the Pilot Plan;

    * Continuing the largest international expansion in Delta's
      history, which resulted in an international capacity
      increase of 21.5% compared to the June 2005 quarter.  
      Delta has launched 11 new transatlantic routes since March
      2006, new service between its Atlanta hub and
      Copenhagen, Athens and Venice, and now offers more service
      between the United States and destinations across Europe,
      India and Israel than any other global carrier;

    * Reducing aircraft ownership costs by negotiating more
      favorable lease terms and eliminating older, less
      efficient aircraft from its fleet.  On June 30, 2006,
      Delta had 457 mainline aircraft in its fleet, a reduction
      of 65 aircraft from June 30, 2005;

    * Completing a US$200 million initiative to streamline
      corporate structure and improve Delta's productivity and
      effectiveness, which involved the elimination of more than
      1,000 management positions.

Edward H. Bastian, Delta's executive vice president and chief
financial officer, said, "Delta's second quarter results
continue to reflect both the solid progress we are making in our
restructuring and the substantial challenges we are facing from
high fuel prices.  We are aggressively restructuring our
business, and our improving financial results are proof that our
plan is taking hold. Despite the more than US$300 million impact
of higher fuel prices, Delta produced its first quarterly net
profit, excluding reorganization or special items, since
December 2000."

At June 30, 2006, the company had US$4.0 billion in cash, cash
equivalents and short-term investments, of which US$2.9 billion
was unrestricted.  Capital expenditures during the June 2006
quarter were US$73 million.  At June 30, 2006, Delta was in
compliance with all of the financial covenants in its post-
petition financing arrangements.

Delta received authorization from the Bankruptcy Court, with the
support of the unsecured creditors' committee in its Chapter 11
proceedings, to enter into fuel hedging contracts within certain
limits.  For the June 2006 quarter, Delta hedged approximately
34% of its fuel consumption, resulting in a gain of US$2
million.  As of July 31, 2006, Delta had hedged approximately
49% of its planned fuel consumption for the September 2006
quarter at an average price of US$2.13 per gallon.

In the second quarter of 2006, Delta recorded US$2.4 billion in
non-cash charges for reorganization items.  These items
primarily relate to:

    * US$2.1 billion charge for the allowed general, unsecured
      pre-petition claim in conjunction with the pilot
      collective bargaining agreement;

    * US$284 million charge primarily reflecting estimated pre-
      petition bankruptcy claims from restructuring the
      financing arrangements of 16 aircraft, the rejection of 14
      aircraft leases and the return to the lessor of one
      aircraft;

In the second quarter of 2005, Delta recorded US$78 million in
charges for special items, including:

    -- US$96 million charge associated with pension and related
       items, and

    -- US$18 million benefit from a net reduction in Delta's
       valuation allowance.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Delta Air Lines --
http://www.delta.com/-- is the world's second-largest airline
in terms of passengers carried and the leading U.S. carrier
across the Atlantic, offering daily flights to 502 destinations
in 88 countries on Delta, Song, Delta Shuttle, the Delta
Connection carriers and its worldwide partners.  Delta Air
offers customers more weekly flights between the United States
and destinations across Europe, India and Israel than any other
global airline, including service on 11 new transatlantic routes
launched since March.  Delta Air also is a major carrier to
Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean, with nearly
40 new routes announced in the last year.  The Company and
18 affiliates filed for chapter 11 protection on Sept. 14, 2005
(Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Lead Case No. 05-17923).  Marshall S. Huebner,
Esq., at Davis Polk & Wardwell, represents the Debtors in their
restructuring efforts.  Timothy R. Coleman at The Blackstone
Group L.P. provides the Debtors with financial advice.  Daniel
H. Golden, Esq., and Lisa G. Beckerman, Esq., at Akin Gump
Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, provide the Official Committee of
Unsecured Creditors with legal advice.  John McKenna, Jr., at
Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Capital and James S. Feltman at
Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC, serve as the Committee's
financial advisors.  As of June 30, 2005, the company's balance
sheet showed US$21.5 billion in assets and US$28.5 billion in
liabilities.




===========
M E X I C O
===========


GRUPO GIGANTE: S&P Says BB Ratings Reflect High Debt Leverage
-------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Gigante S.A. de C.V. currently holds these ratings by
Standard & Poor's:

   -- long-term foreign issuer credit rating: BB; and
   -- long-term local issuer credit rating: BB.

The ratings on supermarket chain Grupo Gigante S.A. de C.V.
reflect the company's relatively high debt leverage, the
challenges the company will face with its new business
strategies, the risks derived from the increased competition
it's facing in most of its business formats, and the correlation
of its sales with economic cycles.  Balancing this position are
the steps taken by the company to improve operating efficiencies
and margins, and its position as one of the top players in the
highly competitive Mexican supermarket industry.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services expects 2006 to be a year of
transition for Gigante, during which the company will continue
working on its recent shift to everyday-low-price strategy while
focusing on profitable growth, even if this results in a lower
market share and additional store closings (it closed 14 in 2004
and 16 in 2005, and it is in the process of closing 17 in 2006).

The rating is predicated on an expected gradual and sustained
improvement in the company's financial and business profiles.  
Such improvements will be determined by the consumers'
acceptance of the company's pricing strategy and its new image.  
The company must also successfully implement its investments in
technology, in store renovations, and in distribution centers.  
And it should command more bargaining power with several of its
suppliers and benefit from its participation in Sinergia, the
joint purchasing company it operates with peers Controladora
Comercial Mexicana S.A. de C.V. (BBB-/Stable/--) and
Organizacion Soriana S.A. de C.V.

The supermarket industry is highly competitive in Mexico, and
the four main players control approximately 80% of the market,
Wal-Mart de Mexico aka Walmex being the largest.  Gigante lags
its competitors mainly because of its more aggressive financial
profile and weaker operating efficiencies.  Its same-store sales
indicators have fallen well below the average for the sector, as
well as below the top players' results.  The company reported a
decline of 6.4% during 2005 and 0.4% during second-quarter 2006,
while Mexico's national retail association reported a decrease
of 2.4% and growth of 6.3% for those periods, respectively (the
association's figures exclude Walmex).  In addition, Mexico has
a large and relatively young population base, while numerous
small and inefficient mom-and-pop stores and a large informal
market comprise a high percentage of the industry. These factors
combine for a high growth potential for the big and efficient
operators, whose current large investments could represent
further pressure for Gigante in the mid- and long time frame.

The company's weak results mainly derive from the difficult
operational and financial situation the company has been facing
in the past three years.  In 2005, the company's problems were
the result of a new pricing strategy and its complicated
implementation of an IT platform, along with high expenses due
to store closings and remodeling, and increased competition.

These factors led to deterioration in the company's financial
measures. For the 12 months ended June 30, 2006, operating-lease
adjusted (OLA) EBITDA interest coverage was 2.1x (down from 2.5x
the previous year), while the total debt-to-EBITDA ratio was
2.8x (an increase from 2.4x), and the funds from operations-to-
total debt ratio was 16.3% (a decline from 17.1%).  The
company's OLA EBITDA margin, between 5% and 6% during the past
four years, is expected to be in the higher end of this range
when the company begins to see positive results from its new
operational strategies.  Nevertheless, the figure will continue
to underperform other companies' measures.  Gigante's joint
ventures with Office Depot and Radio Shack are its most
profitable businesses, with an estimated EBITDA margin of more
than double those of the supermarket operations.

Founded in 1962, Gigante is one of the most recognized
supermarket names in Mexico.  With an estimated 10% market share
and revenues of US$2.9 billion for the 12 months ended June
2006, the company owns Mexico's fourth-largest chain of
supermarkets in terms of revenues, and it has the second-largest
number of supermarket outlets.  The main retail brands are
Gigante, Bodega Gigante, Super Gigante, and Gigante USA, which
target different segments of the retail market.  The company
owns 271 self-service stores in Mexico that sell groceries,
perishables, clothing, and general merchandise, as well as
smaller retailing operations in Los Angeles, Calif. (the
company's nine U.S. stores are not profitable).  Gigante's self-
service operations contribute most of its total sales and more
than half of its consolidated EBITDA.  About 50% of total sales
are concentrated in the Mexico City metropolitan area and in
Mexico's central region, where approximately 60% of the Mexican
population lives.  The company has a valuable real estate
portfolio with the stores it owns, though these represent less
than half of its total supermarket store base.

Gigante also enjoys diverse revenues and cash flows from two
joint ventures with highly recognized U.S. retail businesses
(with Radio Shack, which has 132 stores in Mexico, and with
Office Depot, which has 120 stores in Mexico and Central
America).  The company also operates a family-style restaurant
chain under the Toks brand name, which has 58 locations and
12,086 seats.  Although 95% of the company's sales are generated
in Mexico, Gigante's international operations provide it with
some diversification and experience in other retail
environments, even if they do not offset risks associated with
debt denominated in foreign currency.

In April 2006, the company refinanced all its debt through a
US$260 million, 8.75% 10-year Regulation S/Rule 144A bond
issuance to free up cash for store remodeling, since the
previous loan started amortizing in 2006, was backed by a
mortgage guarantee, and had very restrictive covenants.  The new
notes are unsecured and do not include guarantees from Gigante
USA, Office Depot, and Radio Shack operations.  Due to the
mentioned notes issuance, the company's total debt is now fully
dollar-denominated.  The rating takes into consideration that an
efficient hedging strategy will be in place to reduce the risk
from foreign-exchange exposure.

Liquidity

The company's liquidity is adequate.  Standard & Poor's expects
Gigante to continue funding its capital spending plans (which
the rating agency expects to be more than US$100 million per
year) mostly through internally generated cash.  Large
expansions and investments in the past have been funded through
a mix of cash and debt.  As of June 2006, Gigante had US$36
million in cash and cash equivalents, with some available
uncommitted lines of credit, and its OLA EBITDA is estimated to
be US$170 million for year-end 2006.  By contrast, the company
faces only US$1 million in short-term debt, only US$12.5 million
of maturing debt in 2007, and US$13.4 million in 2008.  Gigante
has constituted a reserve of approximately US$18 million to
cover a negative ruling of a legal proceeding concerning the
purchase of a subsidiary.

Outlook

The stable outlook reflects our expectation that Gigante will be
able to maintain its business position as long as its operating
improvements provide adequate debt coverage and its debt remains
at current levels. The rating is currently constrained, however,
by the challenges the company will face during 2006 as it
continues with its recent pricing strategy change and implements
new operational and technological initiatives to increase
efficiency.  The company also faces intense competition from a
diverse array of sector players.  Hence, a positive rating
action is not foreseen in the medium term.  If the company fails
to provide positive results after the transition period or if
its financial profile deteriorates further, the ratings would be
pressured downward.


GRUPO MEXICO: New Projects May Raise Output by 60% in Four Years
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grupo Mexico SA de CV told Reuters on Tuesday that new mining
projects in Peru and Mexico could increase the firm's copper
output by 60% or 470,000 tons in four years.

Among these projects are:

    * Peru:

      -- Tia Maria, and
      -- Los Chancas; and

    * northern Mexico: El Arco.

Grupo Mexico also told Reuters that the new projects would raise
its molybdenum production by 20 million pounds, also in four
years.  

The Tia Maria project should take around two years to develop,
Reuters relates, citing Grupo Mexico.  The company said that
once the project is finished, the new output -- added to the
expansions underway in the Cananea -- should boost the company's
copper production by 110,000 tons yearly.

Grupo Mexico told Reuters that it hoped to conclude studies on
the Los Chancas and El Arco projects in November this year.

"The development of all these projects could add 470,000 extra
tonnes of copper and 20 million lbs extra of molybdenum to the
company's annual production in approximately four years," Grupo
Mexico said in a statement.

Grupo Mexico SA de C.V. -- http://www.grupomexico.com/--   
through its ownership of Asarco and the Southern Peru Copper
Company, Grupo Mexico is the world's third largest copper
producer, fourth largest silver producer and fifth largest
producer of zinc and molybdenum.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings to Grupo Mexico SA de C.V.:

     -- foreign currency long-term debt, BB; and
     -- local currency long-term debt, BB.


MERIDIAN AUTOMOTIVE: To File a Revised Plan of Reorganization
-------------------------------------------------------------
Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc., has decided to amend its
current Plan of Reorganization.  In light of the difficult
current automotive environment the company has concluded that it
should emerge from Chapter 11 with less debt and increased
liquidity.  

Meridian is currently discussing the terms of a revised plan of
reorganization with its major creditor constituencies as well as
the terms of exit financing with certain lenders.  Meridian will
continue the confirmation hearing on its plan of reorganization,
file an amended disclosure statement and plan of reorganization
with the Bankruptcy Court and re-solicit its creditors.  The
company currently expects to close on the exit financing and
have the revised plan of reorganization become effective near
the end of October 2006.

Richard E. Newsted, Meridian's President and CEO, said, "Given
the continued challenges within the industry, while we are
focused on exiting Chapter 11 as quickly as practical, the short
delay in our emergence will be more than offset by the positive
impact of a post-confirmation balance sheet with less debt and
increased liquidity. These are two very positive factors that
should generate increased customer, supplier and employee
confidence and contribute to our long-term success in this
industry."

Headquartered in Dearborn, Mich., Meridian Automotive Systems,
Inc. -- http://www.meridianautosystems.com/-- supplies
technologically advanced front and rear end modules, lighting,
exterior composites, console modules, instrument panels and
other interior systems to automobile and truck manufacturers.  
Meridian operates 22 plants in the United States, Canada and
Mexico, supplying Original Equipment Manufacturers and major
Tier One parts suppliers.  The Company and its debtor-affiliates
filed for chapter 11 protection on April 26, 2005 (Bankr. D.
Del. Case Nos. 05-11168 through 05-11176).  James F. Conlan,
Esq., Larry J. Nyhan, Esq., Paul S. Caruso, Esq., and Bojan
Guzina, Esq., at Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, and Robert S.
Brady, Esq., Edmon L. Morton, Esq., Edward J. Kosmowski, Esq.,
and Ian S. Fredericks, Esq., at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor,
LLP, represent the Debtors in their restructuring efforts.  Eric
E. Sagerman, Esq., at Winston & Strawn LLP represents the
Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.  The Committee also
hired Ian Connor Bifferato, Esq., at Bifferato, Gentilotti,
Biden & Balick, P.A., to prosecute an adversary proceeding
against Meridian's First Lien Lenders and Second Lien Lenders to
invalidate their liens.  When the Debtors filed for protection
from their creditors, they listed US$530 million in total assets
and approximately US$815 million in total liabilities.  


SONIC CORP: Launches US$560 Million "Dutch Auction" Tender Offer
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sonic Corp. has commenced its modified "Dutch Auction" tender
offer.  In the tender offer, Sonic is offering to purchase up to
25,454,545 shares of its common stock at a price per share not
less than US$19.50 and not greater than US$22.00, for a maximum
aggregate purchase price of US$560 million.  

The high end of this range represents an 11.5% premium to the
closing price for the company's common stock on August 11, 2006.  
The tender offer will expire at 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on
Friday, September 22, 2006, unless extended. The number of
shares proposed to be purchased in the tender offer represents
approximately 30% percent of Sonic's currently outstanding
common stock.

In the tender offer, Sonic's stockholders will have the
opportunity to tender some or all of their shares at a price
within the US$19.50 to US$22.00 per share range.  Based on the
number of shares tendered and the prices specified by the
tendering stockholders, Sonic will determine the purchase price
per share by selecting the lowest per share price within the
range that will enable it to buy 25,454,545 shares of stock, or
fewer shares if a lesser number is properly tendered.  All
shares accepted in the tender offer will be purchased at the
same price per share even if tendered at a lower price.  If
stockholders tender more than 25,454,545 shares of stock at or
below the purchase price per share, Sonic will purchase the
shares tendered by those stockholders on a pro rata basis, as
specified in the offer to purchase that is being distributed to
stockholders.  Sonic's intent is to purchase up to US$560
million of common stock in the tender offer. In the event the
final purchase price is less than the maximum price of US$22.00
per share and more than 25,454,545 shares are tendered in the
tender offer at or below the purchase price, Sonic intends to
exercise its right to purchase up to an additional 2% of its
outstanding shares without extending the tender offer so that it
may repurchase up to US$560 million of common stock.

The tender offer is not contingent upon a minimum number of
shares being tendered.  It is subject to a number of other terms
and conditions, including the receipt of financing as noted
below, all of which are specified in the offer to purchase.

Sonic's directors and executive officers have advised Sonic that
they do not intend to tender any of their shares in the tender
offer.

Sonic has signed a commitment letter dated August 10, 2006, with
Banc of America Securities and Lehman Brothers to arrange a new
senior secured credit facility, which is expected to consist of
a US$100 million, five-year revolving credit facility and a
US$675 million, seven-year term loan facility.  The new senior
secured credit facility will be used to fund the purchase of
shares in the tender offer, refinance certain of Sonic's
existing debt and pay related fees and expenses.  Under the
commitment letter, Banc of America Securities and Lehman
Brothers will act as joint lead arrangers for the new senior
secured credit facilities.  Lehman Commercial Paper Inc. will
act as sole and exclusive syndication agent and will syndicate
such facilities on a best efforts basis.  In addition, Banc of
America Securities and Lehman Brothers have committed, subject
to the terms and conditions of the commitment letter, to provide
US$50 million and US$20 million, respectively, of the new senior
secured credit facilities. The consummation of the tender offer
is conditioned upon receipt of this financing.

Banc of America Securities and Lehman Brothers have been
retained to act as dealer managers for the tender offer. Banc of
America Securities also has been retained to act as the
company's financial advisor for the above- mentioned
transactions.

After completion of the tender offer, subject to market
conditions, Sonic may pursue a refinancing of its new senior
secured credit facility with a securitized transaction and has
engaged Lehman Brothers as its sole structuring advisor to
evaluate the securitized transaction.

The information agent for the tender offer is Georgeson Inc. and
the depository is UMB Bank, N.A. The offer to purchase, letter
of transmittal and related documents will be distributed to
stockholders promptly.  Stockholders with questions or who would
like additional copies of the tender offer documents may call
the information agent at (866) 295-3782.  Banks and brokers may
call (212) 440-9800.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Sonic Corp. engages in
the operation and franchising of a chain of quick-service drive-
ins in the United States and Mexico.  As of August 31, 2005,
Sonic Corp. had 3,039 Sonic Drive-Ins, including 574 Partner
Drive-Ins and 2,465 Franchise Drive-Ins.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned on Aug. 14, 2006,
its 'BB-' corporate credit rating to Oklahoma City, Okla.-based
quick- service restaurant operator Sonic Corp.  The outlook is
stable.

Standard & Poor's also assigned a 'BB-' rating to the company's
proposed US$100 million secured revolving credit facility
maturing in 2011 and to its US$675 million secured term loan B
maturing in 2013.  A recovery rating of '2' was assigned to the
credit facilities, indicating the expectation for substantial
recovery of principal in the event of a payment default.  




=================
N I C A R A G U A
=================


* NICARAGUA: Hydroelectric Projects Portfolio Attracts 10 Firms
---------------------------------------------------------------
About 10 firms have asked CNE, Nicaragua's national energy
commission, for additional information on a hydroelectric
projects portfolio, Business News Americas reports, citing an
official of CNE.

The CNE official told BNamericas that the agency disclosed in
earlier in August 12 projects at different stages of development
to around 20 local and international firms -- including Italian
power firm Enel and companies from Denmark, Norway and Spain.

BNamericas notes that out of the 10 companies that requested for
more details on the projects, two have collected the necessary
forms from energy regulator INE to conduct remaining studies.

The next step -- if the projects proceed -- would be for firms
to obtain environmental and water use right permits and
generation licenses, BNamericas states.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investor Service assigned these ratings to Nicaragua:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Long Term          Caa1     June 30, 2003
   Senior Unsecured
   Debt                B3      June 30, 2003




===========
P A N A M A
===========


BANCO LATINAMERICANO: Posts US$8.9MM Second Quarter Net Income
--------------------------------------------------------------
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones, S.A., aka Bladex,
disclosed its results for the second quarter ended
June 30, 2006.

                     Financial Highlights

   -- During the quarter, the Bank's credit portfolio grew
      by 4%.  Compared with June 30, 2005, the portfolio has
      grown 27%, while disbursements have grown by 62%.

   -- In the second quarter, Net Interest Income rose by 29% to
      US$14.9 million.  Year to date, Net Interest Income has
      increased by US$5.4 million, or 26%, compared with the
      same period in 2005.

   -- During the first six months of 2006, Net Interest Income
      on the restructured portfolio amounted to 5% of total Net
      Interest Income, compared with 23% a year before.
   
   -- Operating Income for the second quarter totaled US$7.3
      million, US$1.9 million, or 21%, below the level reported
      in the first quarter, due to net trading losses of US$2.4
      million in the second quarter.  Year to date, Operating
      Income was US$16.5 million, US$3.8 million, or 30%, above
      the level of the previous year.

   -- Driven by lower reversals of provisions for credit losses,
      Net Income for the second quarter totaled US$8.9 million
      (US$7.7 million, or 46%, below the results of the first
      quarter), and US$25.6 million year to date (US$18.3
      million, or 42%, below the same period in 2005).

   -- Subsequent to the close of the quarter, the Bank completed
      its US$50 million stock buyback program.

Jaime Rivera, Chief Executive Officer of Bladex, commented on
the quarter's results:

"The results of the second quarter are the strongest indication
yet of the established nature of the transformation of our
business. When compared to a year ago, disbursements have
increased 62%, the portfolio has grown 27%, operating income is
30% higher, and our efficiency ratios are stronger.  During the
second quarter, we saw pricing continue to improve as a result
of markets moving in the Bank's favor and the diversification of
our business into the corporate segment, which in June accounted
for 56% of revenues, compared to 33% in June 2005.

"The underlying dynamics of our pristine commercial portfolio
quality remain stable -- 73% of our exposure is trade finance in
nature, with 80% of the total credit portfolio due to mature
within one year.  No interest or principal payments are past
due.

"Financially, the second quarter was a challenging one for our
Treasury where, after two quarters of strong securities gains,
unusually volatile markets resulted in trading losses that took
some off the luster of the quarter's operating results.  The
volatility in the market, however, allowed us to complete our
stock buyback program under very favorable terms for the Bank.

"On the non-financial front, we obtained the regulatory
approvals necessary to move forward with our Clavex's
initiative, and successfully went live with our new technology
platform.

"Our work for the remainder of the year will continue to focus
on translating our progress to the bottom line, as we move
forward with disciplined implementation of our strategic plan to
achieve steady, quality growth through a wider array of trade
finance services."
    
                       About Bladex

Headquartered in Panama City, Panama, Banco Latinoamericano de
Exportaciones, S.A. aka Bladex -- http://www.bladex.com-- is a
supranational bank originally established by the Central Banks
of Latin American and Caribbean countries to promote trade
finance in the Region.  The bank's shareholders include central
banks and state- owned entities in 23 countries in the Region,
as well as Latin American and international commercial banks,
along with institutional and retail investors.  Through
December 31, 2005, Bladex had disbursed accumulated credits of
over US$135 billion.

                        *    *    *

As reported on April 7, 2006, Moody's affirmed these ratings for
Bladex:

   -- Bank Financial Strength Rating: D-minus, change to
      positive outlook from stable;

   -- Long Term Foreign Currency Deposit Rating: Baa3, with
      stable outlook;

   -- Short Term Foreign Currency Deposit Rating: Prime-3;

   -- Foreign Currency Senior Unsecured Rating: Baa3, with
      stable outlook; and

   -- Foreign Currency Issuer Rating: Baa3, with stable outlook.


* PANAMA: OKs Framework Agreement of Cooperation with Venezuela
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Council of Ministers of Panama has ratified the Framework
Agreement of Cooperation with Venezuela, Inside Costa Rica
reports.

The report says that the Framework Agreement was signed on June
22 to improve bilateral relations.

A release published on Wednesday states that the agreement
establishes a performance between Venezuela and Panama aimed at
social development to:

     -- fight poverty,
     -- foster trade and investments, and
     -- promote exports, energy, environment and natural
        resources."

Several agreements, particularly those on energy, were signed
during the visit of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to Panama,
Inside Costa Rica relates.  Among them are:

  -- a protocol for a mechanism of consultation and political
     agreement Venezuelan Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez and
     Panamanian First Vice President and Foreign Minister Samuel
     Lewis Navarro signed;

  -- energy cooperation;

  --  management and storage of hydrocarbons;

  -- supply and refining of oil for Panama; and

  -- transport and management of natural gas.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Panama:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BBB      Apr.  8, 2005
   Long Term IDR      BB+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR       B      Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB+      Dec. 14, 2005




===============
P A R A G U A Y
===============


* PARAGUAY: Will Discuss Itaipu Dam Debt Payment with Brazil
------------------------------------------------------------
Silas Rondeau, the mines and energy minister of Brazil told Dow
Jones Newswires that the nation's ministers met with Paraguayan
counterparts on Aug. 17 to discuss debt payments on the
construction of the Itaipu hydroelectric dam that the two
nations jointly owned.

Dow Jones relates that it was the second session held regarding
the proposal to abolish a clause that says the repayment of the
debt would depend on US inflation.  

The Itaipu dam has a generating capacity of 12,600 megawatts,
Dow Jones reports.  The dam's construction -- completed in 1983
-- was mainly funded by the Brazilian government, leaving a
US$19 billion debt.   Paraguay's repayments on the debt were
based on US inflation during renegotiations to the debt in 1996.

Dow Jones notes that the Brazilian government refuses to change
the terms of the accord but is willing to avoid an argument with
Paraguay.  

Brazil already has conflict with Bolivia regarding the former's
state firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA operations in the latter.  
Bolivia's President Evo Morales had implemented a
nationalization of the hydrocarbons sector in May, insisting for
a renewal of contracts on prices for gas shipped to Brazil, Dow
Jones states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Panama:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling    BBB      Apr.  8, 2005
   Long Term IDR      BB+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR       B      Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating     BB+      Dec. 14, 2005




=======
P E R U
=======


DEL MONTE: Unit Replaces US$100M of Credit with New Term B Loan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Del Monte Foods Company disclosed that Del Monte Corp., its
wholly-owned subsidiary, replaced a portion of its then-
outstanding revolving credit facility balance by exercising a
portion of the accordion feature that permits additional Term
Loans, as allowed for in its existing senior credit facility.  

Del Monte replaced US$100 million of the revolving balance with
proceeds (net of fees and expenses) from the additional Term B
loan.  As a result, total debt outstanding was not affected by
the net additional Term B loan.  The terms and conditions of the
new Term B loan (including pricing, maturity, pro rata
amortization and collateral and security) are the same as the
terms and conditions applicable to the existing Term B loan
currently outstanding under the credit facility.

Banc of America Securities LLC acted as sole lead arranger and
sole book running manager in connection with the new Term B
loan.  Bank of America, N.A. is administrative agent for the Del
Monte credit facility.

                   About Del Monte Foods

Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., Del Monte Foods Company
-- http://www.delmonte.com/-- produces and distributes
processed vegetables, fruit and tomato products, and pet
products.  The products are sold under Del Monte, Contadina,
S&W, Starkist, College Inn, 9Lives, Kibbles 'n Bits, Meow Mix,
Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, Pounce, and Meaty Bone.  The
Group has food-processing plants in South America and has
subsidiaries in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.  The
production facilities are operated in California, the Midwest,
Washington and Texas, as well as 7 distribution centers.

                        *    *    *

Moody's Investors Service confirmed on April 26, 2006, Del Monte
Corp.'s Ba3 senior secured debt and corporate family ratings, as
well as its B2 subordinated debt rating.  Moody's also assigned
Ba3 ratings to two senior secured term B loans being established
by the company, as well as a Ba3 rating to a US$50 million step-
up in its senior secured revolving credit facility.

                        *    *    *

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services assigned on April 26, 2006,
its 'BB' bank loan ratings and '1' recovery ratings to Del Monte
Corp.'s proposed US$975 million add-on to its existing senior
secured term loan facilities, indicating the expectation of full
(100%) recovery of principal in the event of a payment default.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'BB-' long-term
and 'B-1' short-term corporate credit ratings.  S&P said the
ratings outlook is negative.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings revised on March 21, 2006, the Ratings Outlook for
Del Monte Food Company and Del Monte Corp. to Negative from
Stable.  The ratings have been affirmed as:

  Del Monte Foods Company (Parent):

    -- Issuer default rating 'BB'

  Del Monte Corp. (Operating Subsidiary):

    -- IDR 'BB'
    -- Senior secured bank facility 'BB+'
    -- Senior subordinated notes 'BB-'

These ratings actions affect Del Monte's US$1.3 billion of debt
outstanding as of Jan. 29, 2006.


* PERU: Rail Concessionaire to Propose Linking Nation to Brazil
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ferrocarril Central Andino or FCA, the rail concessionaire in
Peru, will propose a railway that would link Brazil and Peru to
the latter's transport and communications ministry, according to
a report by local paper El Peruano.

El Peruano relates that FCA would conduct the project with
Brazil's America Latina Logistica aka ALL.

Juan de Dios Olaechea, the head of FCA, told El Peruano that the
plan would need a US$1.2 billion investment from FCA to build a
1,244km railway on the Peruvian side of the border.  ALL would
construct a 2,000km railway in Brazil.

El Peruano reports that Mr. Olaechea said, "Talks with the
[Brazilian] firm are quite advanced and we're just waiting to
show this project to the government and obtain approval to begin
its execution."

The project interests ALL as it would reduce transport costs for
Brazilian soy products exported to Asia, Prensa Latina states.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Peru:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB      Nov. 18, 2004
   Long Term IDR       BB      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB+     Dec. 14, 2005




=====================
P U E R T O   R I C O
=====================


DORAL FINANCIAL: Files Fin. Reports for Year Ended Dec. 31, 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
Doral Financial Corp. has filed with the US Securities and
Exchanged Commission its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2005.

"With the filing of our 2005 results, the company continues
moving forward to return to timely financial reporting," stated
John A. Ward III, the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer.  "Doral Financial expects to report its results for the
first two quarters of 2006 prior to the annual meeting of
stockholders, which has been set for October 24, 2006, and to
thereafter resume a regular financial reporting schedule."

For 2005, Doral Financial reported net income of US$13.2
million, or a net loss of US$0.19 per diluted share (after
payment of dividends on preferred shares), and a net loss for
the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2005, of US$44.2 million, or US$0.49
per diluted share.  For 2004, the company had net income of
US$214.8 million, or US$1.63 per diluted share, and net income
of US$126.2 million, or US$1.02 per diluted share, for the
quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004.

Mr. Ward said, "While we are pleased with the progress we have
made towards becoming current in our financial reporting, we do
not believe our results for 2005 reflect Doral Financial's
longer-term profit and growth potential.  Doral's management has
undertaken a number of critical initiatives to position the
company for the long term.  We have renegotiated and modified a
significant portion of the mortgage loan transfers that were
recharacterized as secured borrowings as part of the restatement
process.  We are also implementing significant cost savings
initiatives and a comprehensive remediation program designed to
improve Doral's internal controls."

"Doral today is a very different company in terms of our culture
and management.  Consistent with our announcement in May,
effective immediately after the filing of our 2005 10-K, Glen
Wakeman will be appointed Doral Financial's Chief Executive
Officer and I will return to my role as Non-executive Chairman.  
Glen will lead the process put in place to strategically adapt
Doral's business model to produce revenues and earnings streams
that are more stable and transparent, and to assure that Doral
remains well positioned to capitalize on its strong mortgage
franchise in the marketplace," Mr. Ward said.

Doral Financial also disclosed that the Board of Directors had
set the date of the annual meeting of stockholders for
October 24, 2006.  A formal notice of meeting will be sent to
shareholders in connection with the meeting.

              Overview of Results of Operations

Doral Financial's consolidated financial statements for 2005
reflect significantly lower earnings than those reported for
2004.  Net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, amounted to
US$13.2 million, compared to US$214.8 million and US$142.1
million for 2004 and 2003, respectively.  Doral Financial's 2005
financial performance was principally impacted by:

   (1) a change in tax position from a tax benefit in 2004 to
       tax expense in 2005,

   (2) reduced net interest income and gain on sale of mortgage
       loans due principally to the interest rate environment,

   (3) a higher provision for loan and lease losses,

   (4) increased expenses as a result of the company's
       restatement efforts,

   (5) a significant loss on sale of investment securities, and

   (6) a reserve for a potential settlement of the SEC's ongoing
       investigation of the company.

The highlights of the Company's financial results for the year
ended Dec. 31, 2005, includes:

   --  Net income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, was US$13.2
       million, compared with US$214.8 million and US$142.1
       million for the years ended Dec. 31, 2004 and 2003,
       respectively.  After the payment of preferred stock
       dividends, there was a net loss attributable to common
       shareholders of US$20.1 million for the year ended
       Dec. 31, 2005, compared with net income attributable to
       common shareholders of US$181.5 million and US$121.1
       million for the years ended Dec. 31, 2004 and 2003,
       respectively.

   --  Diluted loss per share for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005,
       was US$0.19, compared with diluted earnings per share of
       US$1.63 and US$1.10 for the years ended Dec. 31, 2004
       and 2003, respectively.

   --  Net interest income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005 was
       US$280.6 million, compared with US$337.6 million and
       US$237.5 million for the years ended Dec. 31, 2004 and
       2003, respectively.  The decrease in net interest income
       for 2005 reflects a significant decrease in net interest
       margin offset in part by a significant growth in average
       interest-earning assets, principally loans and
       mortgage-backed securities.  The reduction in net
       interest margin resulted from the flattening of the yield
       curve.  On average, the company's interest bearing
       liabilities, principally wholesale funding and loans
       payable, re-priced at higher rates than the company's
       interest earning assets.

   --  The provision for loan and lease losses for the year
       ended Dec. 31, 2005, was US$22.4 million, compared to
       US$10.4 million and US$11.6 million for 2004 and 2003,
       respectively.  The increase in the allowance for loan
       and lease losses reflects principally an increase in
       the allowance for the company's construction loan
       portfolio, as well as an increase in the delinquency
       trends of the overall loans portfolio.

   --  Non-interest income for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005,
       was US$62.5 million, compared to US$16.2 million and
       US$118.8 million in 2004 and 2003, respectively.  The
       increase in non-interest income, in 2005 compared to
       2004, was primarily driven by lower losses on trading
       activities and higher servicing income, offset in part
       by lower gain on sales of mortgage loans and investment
       securities.  During the fourth quarter of 2005, the
       company, as a measure designed to increase liquidity,
       as well as to strengthen its capital ratios, sold
       approximately US$1.2 billion of certain lower-yielding
       securities from its investment portfolio, at a loss of
       approximately US$45.3 million.  Lower losses on trading
       activities during 2005 were principally due to unrealized
       gains with respect to derivative instruments undertaken
       for risk management purposes, which were in turn mainly
       attributable to an increase in long-term interest and
       swap rates during 2005.

   --  Non-interest expenses for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005,
       was US$288.5 million, compared to US$214.1 million and
       US$178.6 million for the years ended Dec.  31, 2004 and
       2003 respectively, an increase of 35% and 20%
       respectively.  The increase in non-interest expenses was
       driven by an increase of US$29.4 million in professional
       fees associated with the restatement of the company's
       prior period financial statements and a US$25 million
       reserve created for a potential settlement of the SEC's
       ongoing investigation of the company.

   --  Doral Financial has been engaged in discussions with the
       staff of the SEC regarding a possible resolution to its
       investigation of the company's restatement, and has
       reserved US$25 million in its consolidated financial
       statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, in
       connection with a potential settlement of the SEC's
       investigation of the company.  Any settlement is subject
       to acceptance and authorization by the Commission.  There
       can be no assurance that the company's efforts to resolve
       the SEC's investigation with respect to the company will
       be successful, or that the amount reserved will be
       sufficient, and the company cannot predict the timing or
       the final terms of any settlement.  Doral Financial has
       not reserved any amounts in its financial statements in
       respect of the pending civil lawsuits in connection with
       its restatement, which are in their early stages.

   --  For the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, Doral Financial
       reported income tax expense of US$19.1 million
       (representing an effective tax rate of 59.1%), as
       compared with a tax benefit of US$85.5 million for 2004.
       During 2005, the company's effective tax rate was
       adversely affected by an increase in income tax rates in
       Puerto Rico, net operating losses at certain subsidiaries
       that could not be used to offset taxable income at other
       subsidiaries, certain expenses that were not deductible
       for tax purposes and an increase in the valuation
       allowance on the company's deferred tax assets.  During
       2004, the company benefited from a significant
       inter-company sale of IOs completed for the purpose of
       taking advantage of a temporary reduction in capital
       gain tax rates, as well as from the recognition of a
       deferred tax asset in respect of taxes paid on transfers
       of IOs based on their value prior to the restatement.

   --  Doral Financial and its banking subsidiaries remain
       "well capitalized" for bank regulatory purposes as of
       Dec. 31, 2005.

                    New Business Strategy

In 2006, Doral Financial commenced the implementation of key
changes to its business strategy that are principally intended
to produce revenue and earnings streams that are more stable and
transparent.  Among the changes in the business strategy,
management intends to retain a significant amount of its future
internal loan originations in order to increase its net interest
income, subject to liquidity needs and interest rate risk
considerations.  Doral Financial also intends to expand the loan
products offered by its banking subsidiaries and will seek to
leverage its customer relations with mortgage clients to cross
sell a number of different consumer loan products and financial
services.  The company will continue to emphasize growth in fee
income from its insurance agency activities, as well as from
other banking and financial services, and is examining ways to
improve the efficiency of its product delivery systems.  It has
also commenced a major reengineering project with the assistance
of Proudfoot Consulting designed to substantially reduce non-
interest expenses and to make its operations more efficient.  
Combined with already implemented headcount reductions, the
Company anticipates that beginning in 2007 this project will
result in annualized cost savings of at least US$50 million.

      Recent Loan Production Data and Future Operations

The restatement process has resulted in a number of financial,
operational and legal difficulties that have had and continue to
have a material adverse effect on Doral Financial.  These
difficulties include, among others:

   --  reduced mortgage originations, related in part to a
       reduction in the company's market share in the Puerto
       Rico mortgage market;

   --  reduction in mortgage loan sales and related gain on
       sales; and

   --  legal, accounting and other expenses related to the
       restatement process.

While Doral Financial has implemented a number of important
initiatives to improve its long-term earnings potential and
liquidity, the operational and legal difficulties related to the
restatement are expected to continue to adversely impact the
company's earnings and financial condition during 2006.  
Restatement related expenses continue to run on average at
approximately US$3.5 million per month during the first half of
2006 and the positive impact of cost-cutting initiatives and new
business strategies will not have a substantial impact during
2006.

Doral Financial's loan production for the first six months of
2006 was US$1.4 billion, compared with US$2.8 billion for the
comparable period in 2005, a decrease of approximately 50%.  The
decrease in Doral Financial's loan production is due to the
adoption of more stringent underwriting and pricing criteria
designed to meet the requirements of institutional investors in
the secondary mortgage market and to competition from other
Puerto Rico financial institutions in the mortgage market, as
well as to adverse economic conditions in Puerto Rico.

          Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

The company's management, with participation of its Chief
Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, evaluated and
concluded that the Company's disclosure controls and procedures
and internal control over financial reporting were not effective
as of Dec. 31, 2005.  The material weaknesses in the company's
internal control over financial reporting as of Dec. 31, 2005,
are described in Item 9A of the company's 2005 10-K report.

Doral Financial is actively engaged in the implementation of
remediation efforts to improve its internal control over
financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures.  The
company has and continues to develop a plan for remedying all of
the identified material weaknesses, and the work will continue
through and may extend beyond 2006.  As part of this remediation
program, the company is taking steps to add skilled resources to
improve controls and increase the reliability of the financial
closing process.  A discussion of Doral Financial's remediation
efforts is also contained in Item 9A of the company's 2005 10-K
report.

                    About Doral Financial

Doral Financial Corporation -- http://www.doralfinancial.com/   
-- a financial holding company, is the largest residential
mortgage lender in Puerto Rico, and the parent company of Doral
Bank, a Puerto Rico based commercial bank, Doral Securities, a
Puerto Rico based investment banking and institutional brokerage
firm, Doral Insurance Agency, Inc. and Doral Bank FSB, a federal
savings bank based in New York City.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on June 13, 2006,
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term ratings
on Doral Financial Corp. (NYSE: DRL), including the company's
long-term counterparty rating, to 'B+' from 'BB-'.  At the same
time, Doral's outlook remains on CreditWatch with negative
implications.




=================================
T R I N I D A D   &   T O B A G O
=================================


BRITISH WEST: Implements New Flight Regulation
----------------------------------------------
British West Indies Airlines aka BWIA has implemented a new
regulation for passengers bound for the United States as well as
for other locations, the Trinidad & Tobago Express reports.

BWIA said in a press release on Tuesday, "The United States
Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security
Administration has advised that effective immediately,
passengers traveling to and from the United States may not have
liquids, gels, or aerosols in accessible property or on their
person past the boarding gate hold area or the boarding gate."

According to The Express, other prohibited items that may be
transported in checked baggage are:

    -- beverages,
    -- shampoo,
    -- suntan lotion,
    -- creams,
    -- toothpaste,
    -- hair gel,
    -- hair spray,
    -- liquid cosmetics, and other items of similar consistency.

The Express relates that permitted items that may be carried in
hand baggage are:

    -- baby formula/milk and baby food in small containers if a
       baby or small child is traveling,

    -- prescription medicine with a name that matches the
       passenger's ticket,

    -- essential other non-prescription medicines not to exceed
       four ounces per container, and

    -- liquids or gels for diabetic passengers who indicate a
       need for the items to address their medical condition.

The Express notes that the items must not exceed eight ounces
per container.

Meanwhile, "duty-free items" -- liquids, gels, and aerosols --
could be transported in the cabin of the aircraft if they are
delivered to the passenger immediately before boarding or after
they have boarded the plane, The Express states.

              About British West Indies Airlines

British West Indies Airlines was founded in 1940, and for more
than 60 years has been serving the Caribbean islands from
Trinidad and Tobago, the hub of the Americas, linking the twin
island republic and many other Caribbean islands with North
America, South America, the United Kingdom and Europe.

The airline has reportedly been losing US$1 million a week due
to poor operational management.  An employee survey revealed
that lack of responsibility by the management is a major issue
in the company.  A number of key employees moved to other
companies caused by a deadlock in the company's negotiation with
its labor union.




=============
U R U G U A Y
=============


* URUGUAY: Political Coalition Rejects Free Trade Pact with US
--------------------------------------------------------------
Uruguay's Frente Amplio rejected the free trade project
sponsored by the United States, Prensa Latina reports.

Frente Amplio is a Uruguayan coalition of political parties and
organizations led by Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez. Frente
Amplio has close ties with Plenario Intersindical de
Trabajadores-Convencion Nacional -- a federation of labor unions
-- and the cooperative housing movement.  While not in power,
Frente Amplio has used the Uruguayan referendum system to repeal
laws that sought to privatize state-run industries or instate
other neoliberal economic reforms.

Prensa Latina relates that Frente Amplio's political board's
decision ratified a resolution that its plenary body has
approved.  The resolution rejects the US-sponsored free trade
agreement project as well as the eventual bilateral agreements
after its ratification.

According to the report, Frente Amplio has called the Uruguayan
government to reach trade accords with other nations, as the
group favors the nation's inclusion in the world trade without
affecting sovereignty and regional agreements.

President Vazquez had announced that he would be the only
spokesperson on the free trade agreement with the US, after
Foreign Minister Reinaldo Gargano rejected a possible free trade
pact between Montevideo and Washington, saying that it would
affect the local economy and relations with Mercosur, Prensa
Latina relates.

                        *    *    *

Fitch Ratings assigned these ratings on Uruguay:

                     Rating     Rating Date
                     ------     -----------
   Country Ceiling     BB-      Mar. 7, 2005
   Long Term IDR       B+      Dec. 14, 2005
   Short Term IDR      B       Dec. 14, 2005
   Local Currency
   Long Term Issuer
   Default Rating      BB-      Mar. 7, 2005




=================
V E N E Z U E L A
=================


CITGO PETROLEUM: Sells Texas Refinery to Lyondell for US$1.3B
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's energy and petroleum minister, said
in published reports, that Petroleos de Venezuela has agreed to
sell Citgo Petroleum Corp.'s 41.25% stake in Lyondell-Citgo
Refining L.P. -- a plant based in Houston, Texas -- to co-owner
Lyondell Chemical Co. for US$1.3 billion.

After two years of study and negotiation, the sale of the stake
was approved, Minister Ramirez, who is also the president of
Petroleos de Venezuela, said.

The negotiation for the Lyondell-Citgo plant has been concluded,
Minister Ramirez told the press at the headquarters of Petroleos
de Venezuela.  "It's being sold to Lyondell," he said.

The sale was expected to be US$2.17 billion, but due to debt and
taxes, Petroleos de Venezuela would net about US$1.31 billion.  
Proceeds from the sale would be deposited in Fondem -- a fund
that uses Petroleos de Venezuela's money to support development
projects in Venezuela.

Minister Ramirez said that the sale could be finalized in a few
days.

Petroleos de Venezuela decided to sell the Lyondell-Citgo stake
to cancel a 25-year contract.  Under this contract, the company
supplied crude at a discount of US$2 per barrel.  The contract
was at its eighth year.

Minister Ramirez said, "The contract has been replaced with a
new five-year one."

Venezuela would continue to supply crude to the Lyondell-Citgo
plant under the new terms of the five-year supply contract.  The
nation would receive:

    -- US$1.3 billion in earnings on the deal, after discounting
       debt payments, and

    -- US$1 billion in taxes.

Patrick Esteruelas, an Eurasia Group analyst, told the
Associated Press that the sale of Citgo's stake in the Lyondell-
Citgo refinery is part of a plan to drop off some US refinery
assets to invest more in oil exploration and production in
Venezuela.

"Venezuela can afford to divest some of its refining assets.  
The overall operations of the (Lyondell) refinery certainly
haven't changed in any significant or material way," Mr.
Esteruelas was quoted by AP as saying.

However, Lyondell said that there was yet no final agreement
regarding the sale.  The company did confirm that there had been
talks.

"The partners have been discussing the possibility of Lyondell
acquiring Citgo's interest (in the refinery) and no agreement
has been reached.  I have no further comment at this time,"
David Harpole, the spokesperson of Lyondell, told AP.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation
-- http://www.citgo.com/-- is owned by PDV America, an
indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela
S.A., the state-owned oil company of Venezuela.

PDVSA is Venezuela's state oil company in charge of the
development of the petroleum, petrochemical and coal industry,
as well as planning, coordinating, supervising and controlling
the operational activities of its divisions, both in Venezuela
and abroad.

                        *    *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter on Feb. 16, 2006,
Standard and Poor's Ratings Services assigned a 'BB' rating on
CITGO Petroleum Corp.


* VENEZUELA: Bolivian Exports Down 3% to US$90M for First Half
--------------------------------------------------------------
For the first six months of 2006, Bolivia's exports to Venezuela
dropped to US$90 million from US$92 million last year, El
Universal reports, citing a report from the Bolivian Trade
Institute.  

Trade Institute manager Gary Rodriguez told Efe that that figure
raise serious questions "about the efficiency of the Peoples'
Trade Accord, through which the (Bolivian) Government hoped to
encourage trade."

Bolivia hosted in May a fair to encourage trade from both the
Peoples' Trade Accord and the Bolivarian Alternative for the
Americas -- both accords are aimed to counter the US-sponsored
Free Trade Agreements.

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.


* VENEZUELA: Oil Output Declines 120,000 Barrels Per Day in July
----------------------------------------------------------------
El Universal, citing the International Energy Agency, reports
that Venezuela's oil production in July decreased by 120,000
barrels per day, which is primarily atrributed to:

   -- reduced operations at the Orinoco Oil Belt for maintenance
      purposes; and

   -- declining domestic crude oil output since 2004.

IEA, an organization of oil consuming countries, said in its
monthly report that Venezuelan output in July was 2.47 million
bpd, compared with May's 2.6 million bpd and June's 2.59 million
bpd.

"Venezuelan output in June soared 80,000 bpd because of the
apparent adjournment for July-August of the shutdown of Hamaca
oil enhancer for maintenance purposes.  Based on this new figure
and an unexpected disruption that hit Sincor in June, we
estimate that production in July fell 120,000 bpd to 2.47
million bpd," El Universal says, citing the report.

Meanwhile, the country's contribution to the overall output of
the Petroleum Exporting Countries dropped to 29.76 million bpd
from 30.01 million in June.

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.


* VENEZUELA: Pres. Chavez to Reinforce Bilateral Ties with China
----------------------------------------------------------------
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will visit China next week to
discuss bilateral links and energy trade, El Universal reports,
citing the Chinese state news agency Xinhua.  The visit will be
made following Chinese President Hu Jintao's invitation.

The president's visit will be from August 22 to 27.  However,
the Chinese government declined to give EFE news agency the
Venezuelan's agenda and the names of officials President Chavez
is to meet there.

In 2005, bilateral trade between Venezuela and China reached
US$2.14 billion.  

Venezuela's foreign currency long-term debt is rated B1 by
Moody's, B+ by Standard & Poor's, and BB- by Fitch.


* Upcoming Meetings, Conferences and Seminars
---------------------------------------------
August 25, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Annual Fishing Trip
         Point Pleasant, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

August 29, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon
         Citrus Club, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 6, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      4th Annual Alberta Golf Tournament
         Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Kananaskis, Alberta
            Contact: 403-294-4954 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 7, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Business Mixer
         TBA, Seattle, Washington
            Contact: 503-223-6222 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 7-8, 2006
   EUROMONEY
      Leveraged Finance
         Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I, Barcelona, Spain
            Contact: http://www.euromoneyplc.com/

September 7-8, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Saratoga Regional Conference
         Gideon Putnam Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 7-9, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Southwest Bankruptcy Conference
         Wynn Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

September 8-9, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      International Insolvency Symposium
         London, England
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast Meeting
         Marriott Tyson's Corner, Vienna, Virginia
            Contact: 703-912-3309 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Networking Breakfast
         TBA, Secaucus, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      LI Turnaround Formal Event
         Long Island, New York
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Networking Function
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Formal Event - Major Speaker to be Announced
         Long Island, New York
            Contact: 631-251-6296 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 13-15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Texas Regional Conference
         Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa
            Lost Pines, TX
               Contact: 870-760-7116 or
http://www.turnaround.org/

September 14, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Kick-Off Reception
         Westin Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: 678-795-8103 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      BOK Review - Management
         Gardner Carton & Douglas, Chicago, IL
            Contact: 815-469-2935 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 17-24, 2006
   NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BANKRUPTCY TRUSTEES
      Optional Alaska Cruise
         Seattle, Washington
            Contact: 800-929-3598 or http://www.nabt.com/

September 19-20, 2006
   STRATEGIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE
      2nd Annual Euro Distressed Debt Summit
         Le Meridien Parkhotel, Frankfurt, Germany
            Contact: http://www.srinstitute.com/

September 20, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      South Florida Dinner
         Bankers Club, Miami, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 21, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Restructuring Workshop With US
      Bankruptcy Judges Hale, Nelms and Lynn
         Belo Mansion - The Pavilion, Dallas, TX
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 24, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Restructuring the Troubled High Tech Company
         Arizona
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 26, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon
         Centre Club, Tampa, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

September 27, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Joint Education Program with NYIC Joint Reception
         CFA/RMA/IWIRC
            Woodbridge Hilton, Iselin, NJ
               Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 27, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      7th Annual Cross Border Business Restructuring and
         Turnaround Conference
            Banff, Alberta
               Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

October 5, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Commercial Lenders Breakfast
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 10, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast Meeting
         Center Club, Baltimore, Maryland
            Contact: 703-912-3309 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 11, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Professional Development Meeting
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 11-14, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      2006 Annual Conference
         Milleridge Cottage, Long Island, New York
            Contact: 312-578-6900; http://www.turnaround.org/

October 12, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      UTS Fundamentals of Turnaround Management
         Mecure Hotel - Haymarket, Sydney, Australia
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

October 17, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Updates on the New Bankruptcy Law
         Kansas City, Missouri
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

October 19, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Billards Networking Night - Young Professionals
         TBA, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 26, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Hedge Funds - Expanded Financing Opportunities in Business
      Turnarounds
         Arizona
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

October 26, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast Speaker Series #3
         TBA, Calgary, Alberta
            Contact: 403-294-4954 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 26, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast Speaker Series #3
         TBA, Calgary, Alberta
            Contact: 403-294-4954 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 27, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast with Coach Dan Reeves
         Westin Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: 678-795-8103 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 28, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      BK/TMA Golf Tournament
         Orange Tree Golf Resort, AZ
            Contact: 623-581-3597 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 30-31, 2006
   Distressed Debt Summit: Preparing for the Next Default Cycle
      Financial Research Associates LLC
         Helmsley Hotel, New York, NY
            Contact: http://www.frallc.com/

October 31, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon
         Citrus Club, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

October 31 - November 1, 2006
   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S INSOLVENCY & RESTRUCTURING
CONFEDERATION
      IWIRC Annual Conference
         San Francisco, California
            Contact: http://www.iwirc.com/

November 1, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Halloween Isn't Over! - Ghosts of turnarounds past who
         remind you about what you should have done differently
            Portland, Oregon
               Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

November 1-4, 2006
   NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGES
      National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
         San Francisco, California
            Contact: http://www.ncbj.org/

November 2-3, 2006
   BEARD GROUP & RENAISSANCE AMERICAN CONFERENCES
      Third Annual Conference on Physician Agreements & Ventures
      Successful Strategies for Medical Transactions and
      Investments
         The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel - Chicago
            Contact: 903-595-3800; 1-800-726-2524;
            http://www.renaissanceamerican.com/

November 7, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Networking Breakfast
         Marriott, Bridgewater, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 8, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast Meeting
         Marriott Tyson's Corner, Vienna, Virginia
            Contact: 703-912-3309 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 8, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      TMA Australia National Conference
         Sydney, Australia
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

November 14, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon Program
         St. Louis, Missouri
            Contact: 815-469-2935 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Joint Reception with NYIC/NYTMA
         TBA, New York
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 15, 2006
   LI TMA Formal Event
      TMA Australia National Conference
         Long Island, New York
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

November 15, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      South Florida Dinner
         Citrus Club, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 16, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Bankruptcy Judges Panel
         Duquesne Club, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

November 16, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Dinner Program
         TBA, Seattle, Washington
            Contact: 503-223-6222 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 23, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Martini Party
         Vancouver, British Columbia
            Contact: 403-294-4954 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 27-28, 2006
   BEARD GROUP & RENAISSANCE AMERICAN CONFERENCES
      Thirteenth Annual Conference on Distressed Investing
      Maximizing Profits in the Distressed Debt Market
         The Essex House Hotel - New York
            Contact: 903-595-3800; 1-800-726-2524;
            http://www.renaissanceamerican.com/

November 28, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Luncheon
         Centre Club, Tampa, FL
            Contact: 561-882-1331 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 29, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Special Program
         TBA, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

November 29, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Turnaround Industry Trends
         Jasna Polana, Princeton, NJ
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

November 30-December 2, 2006
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Winter Leadership Conference
         Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

December 6, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Holiday Dinner
         Portland, Oregon
            Contact: 503-223-6222 or http://www.turnaround.org/

December 7, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Networking Breakfast
         The Newark Club, Newark, New Jersey
            Contact: 908-575-7333 or http://www.turnaround.org/

December 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      LI TMA Holiday Party
         TBA, Long Island, New York
            Contact: 631-251-6296 or http://www.turnaround.org/

December 13, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Christmas Function
         GE Commercial Finance, Sydney, Australia
            Contact: 0438 653 179 or http://www.turnaround.org/

December 20, 2006
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Holiday Extravaganza - TMA, AVF & CFA
         Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: 678-795-8103 or http://www.turnaround.org/

January 12, 2007
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Annual Lender's Panel Breakfast
         Westin Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

February 8-11, 2007
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP) Training
         NY/NJ
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

February 2007
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      International Insolvency Symposium
         San Juan, Puerto Rico
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

March 15, 2007
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Martini Madness Cocktail Reception with Geraldine Ferraro
         Westin Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: 678-795-8103 or http://www.turnaround.org/

March 15-18, 2007
   NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BANKRUTPCY TRUSTEES
      NABT Spring Seminar
         Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: http://www.NABT.com/

March 27-31, 2007
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Spring Conference
         Four Seasons Las Colinas, Dallas, Texas
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

March 29-31, 2007
   ALI-ABA
      Chapter 11 Business Reorganizations
         Scottsdale, Arizona
            Contact: 1-800-CLE-NEWS; http://www.ali-aba.org/

April 11-15, 2007
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      ABI Annual Spring Meeting
         J.W. Marriott, Washington, DC
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

April 20, 2007
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      Breakfast meeting with Chapter President, Bruce Sim
         Westin Buckhead, Atlanta, GA
            Contact: 678-795-8103 or http://www.turnaround.org/

June 6-9, 2007
   ASSOCIATION OF INSOLVENCY & RESTRUCTURING ADVISORS
      23rd Annual Bankruptcy & Restructuring Conference
         Westin River North, Chicago, Illinois
            Contact: http://www.airacira.org/

June 14-17, 2007
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Central States Bankruptcy Workshop
         Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

July 12-15, 2007
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Northeast Bankruptcy Conference
         Marriott, Newport, RI
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

October 10-13, 2007
   NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGES
      National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
         Orlando, Florida
            Contact: http://www.ncbj.org/

October 16-19, 2007
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      TMA Annual Convention
         Marriott Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts
            Contact: 312-578-6900; http://www.turnaround.org/

December 6-8, 2007
   AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE
      Winter Leadership Conference
         Westin Mission Hills Resort, Rancho Mirage, California
            Contact: 1-703-739-0800; http://www.abiworld.org/

March 25-29, 2008
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      TMA Spring Conference
         Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

September 24-27, 2008
   NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGES
      National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
         Scottsdale, Arizona
            Contact: http://www.ncbj.org/

October 28-31, 2008
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      TMA Annual Convention
         Marriott Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts
            Contact: 312-578-6900; http://www.turnaround.org/

October 5-9, 2009
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      TMA Annual Convention
         Marriott Desert Ridge, Phoenix, Arizona
            Contact: 312-578-6900; http://www.turnaround.org/

2009 (TBA)
   NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGES
      National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
         Las Vegas, Nevada
            Contact: http://www.ncbj.org/

October 4-8, 2010
   TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION
      TMA Annual Convention
         JW Marriott Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida
            Contact: http://www.turnaround.org/

2010 (TBA)
   NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BANKRUPTCY JUDGES
      National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges
         New Orleans, Louisiana
            Contact: http://www.ncbj.org/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Coming Changes in Small Business Bankruptcy
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Distressed Real Estate under BAPCPA
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      High-Yield Opportunities in Distressed Investing
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
          http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Fundamentals of Corporate Bankruptcy and Restructuring
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Reverse Mergers - the New IPO?
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Dana's Chapter 11 Filing
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
      under the New Code
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/


   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Validating Distressed Security Portfolios: Year-End Price
      Validation and Risk Assessment
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Changing Roles & Responsibilities of Creditors' Committees
      Audio Conference Recording
         Contact: 240-629-3300;
         http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Calpine's Chapter 11 Filing
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Healthcare Bankruptcy Reforms
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Changes to Cross-Border Insolvencies
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com/

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      The Emerging Role of Corporate Compliance Panels
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      Privacy Rights, Protections & Pitfalls in Bankruptcy
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com

   BEARD AUDIO CONFERENCES
      High-Yield Opportunities in Distressed Investing
         Audio Conference Recording
            Contact: 240-629-3300;
            http://www.beardaudioconferences.com

The Meetings, Conferences and Seminars column appears in the
Troubled Company Reporter each Wednesday. Submissions via e-mail
to conferences@bankrupt.com are encouraged.


                        ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter - Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick,
Maryland USA.  Marjorie C. Sabijon, Sheryl Joy P. Olano, Stella
Mae Hechanova, and Christian Toledo, Editors.

Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$575 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for
members of the same firm for the term of the initial
subscription or balance thereof are US$25 each.  For
subscription information, contact Christopher Beard at 240/629-
3300.


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